The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) wants to allow coal plant operators to dump huge amounts of toxic coal ash directly into active and abandoned coal mines.Because these mines aren't designed to safely hold this waste, this dumping poses a serious risk of contaminating drinking water and making people sick.The Obama administration is in the process of creating rules for the safe disposal of coal ash, with final rules expected to be announced next year.
But the PA DEP wants to move forward now with its plan to give the coal industry a free pass to pollute. The U.S. Department of the Interior will approve or deny the plan and it is currently accepting public comments. We need to urge it to deny this toxic coal ash plan.Coal ash, a toxic byproduct of burning coal, contains dangerous heavy metals like arsenic, mercury and selenium, which are known to cause cancer and other serious health problems.1 Throughout the country, toxic coal ash is stored in more than a thousand massive ponds and landfills2 — including dozens in Pennsylvania3 — which frequently contaminate water supplies.That's why the Environmental Protection Agency proposed comprehensive and science-based rules in 2010 for safe disposal of this toxic and extremely dangerous substance. EPA is in the process of reviewing the 455,000 public comments it received on its proposed rules — most of which were in favor of strong federal regulations to keep Americans safe.Rather than wait for the EPA to move forward with its long-anticipated rules, the DEP wants to cut the process short. I hope you'll join us in telling the Department of the Interior not to allow Pennsylvania's water to be put at risk by the DEP's dangerous plan.Click the link below to submit a public comment now:
r=6967799&p=pa_coal_ash&id= 48145-2966555-ruOt6yx&t=7Thanks for fighting to protect Pennsylvania's water from big polluters.Josh Nelson, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets1. "What is Coal Ash?", Environmental Protection Agency
2. "New EPA Data Show Coal Ash Problem Much Worse", EarthJustice, 6/27/12
3. "Pennsylvania and Coal Ash Disposal in Ponds and Landfills", Sierra Club