Coal / Coal Ash

49 coal plants acknowledge groundwater contamination at 116 disposal sites

WASHINGTON, DC — “At least 49 power plants have acknowledged groundwater contamination at levels that exceed federal or state standards, according to data submitted to the USEPA Office of Water and obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request by the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP). At least 28 of those have come to light only recently, including five in West Virginia, three in Iowa, North Carolina, and Texas, and two each in Colorado and South Carolina. 
Plants reported exceeding federal or state groundwater standards for at least multiple pollutants that are subject to Safe Drinking Water Act or federal Health Advisory standards, including: 
  • Arsenic (a potent carcinogen) at no fewer than 22 plants; 
  • Manganese (a metal that can damage the nervous system in high concentrations) at 22; 
  • Boron (a pollutant that can cause damage to the stomach, intestines, liver, kidney, and brain when ingested in large amounts) at 12; 
  • Selenium (a toxic pollutant that causes adverse health effects at high exposures) at 13
  • Cadmium (a toxic pollutant that can damage the kidneys, lungs, and bones) at 10.

Environmental Integrity Project

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