Coal / Coal Ash / Energy

New EPA data show coal ash problem much worse

In 2008, one billion gallons of toxic coal ash spilled from the Tennessee Valley Authority's Kingston Fossil Plant.

WASHINGTON, DC — “Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released information revealing the existence of hundreds of previously unknown coal ash dumps nationwide. The information comes pursuant to a Freedom of Information Act request (FOIA) by Environmental Integrity Project and Earthjustice.

The data released today by the EPA reveal that there are at least 451 more coal ash ponds than previously acknowledged—significantly increasing the known threat from coal ash. The EPA had admitted to 710 ponds, and today’s numbers increase that total to at least 1,161. In addition, the agency previously did not know how many ponds were unlined. Today’s data indicate that at least 535 ponds (46 percent) operate without a liner to prevent hazardous chemicals from reaching drinking water sources.