Proposed federal rule would regulate coal plant wastewater for the first time

Read the full story from Energy News Network.

The EPA has for the first time proposed rules that would impose standards on wastewater released from coal plants, including contaminated water that has seeped through coal ash and water drained from coal ash impoundments in preparation for closing. 

Thus far, coal plants have had much leeway to essentially dump contaminated wastewater into lakes and rivers, including wastewater from scrubbers that remove sulfur dioxide from emissions, and water used to clean bottom ash out of boilers. 

Coal plant wastewater has until now been subject only to 1982 standards that allow it to be deposited in coal ash ponds, where it may overflow into water bodies and contribute to the contamination of groundwater that happens at the vast majority of coal ash sites

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