Includes options protecting waters from toxic pollution as well as weaker standards that maintain the status quo
Washington, D.C. – The Environmental Protection Agency proposed a number of regulatory options late last Friday night, known as steam electric effluent limitation guidelines for power plants, two of which will finally clean up water pollution from hundreds of power plants.
Power plant water discharges are filled with toxic pollution such as mercury, arsenic, lead, and selenium – heavy metals that can cause neurological and developmental damage, cause harm in utero, damage internal organs and cause cancer. Power plants are the biggest sources of water pollution in the country, yet the EPA has not reviewed regulations for this industry in more than 30 years. To address this unacceptable delay, environmental groups filed a lawsuit in 2010 to force the EPA to take action and regulate this dirty industry.
Coal-fired power plants are the nation’s biggest water polluters – every year, they dump millions of pounds of pollutants, including toxic metals like arsenic, boron, mercury, cadmium, lead and selenium, into our rivers, streams, and lakes. In fact, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), more than 50% of all toxic water pollution comes from coal-fired power plants.
Harrisburg, PA – The PA Environmental Quality Board (EQB) voted today to update state water quality standards at a meeting at the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) offices in Harrisburg. The EQB once again failed to include a standard for levels of salt in Pennsylvania rivers, which environmental groups had urged them to include.
15 environmental and community organizations wrote to the PA Environmental Quality Board (EQB) urging action to restore proposed standards to protect Pennsylvania rivers. While DEP had proposed a standard for salts (chlorides) in their draft proposal in 2012, the standard was completely removed by DEP in the final version sent to EQB.
The court found that the DEP was within its rights to adopt the waiver rule last year, which is one of the Christie administration's most aggressive efforts to reduce environmental regulatory red tape. However, the state was told it must put certain documents associated with the rule through a formal rule-making process, including soliciting public comment, according to the 54-page ruling released Thursday.