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WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Today the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a proposed regulation to strengthen water pollution standards for coal-fired power plants. This proposal will require significant reduction of mercury, arsenic, bromide and other pollutants and EPA estimates these new standards will eliminate just over half a billion pounds of water pollution every year. Bromide is especially harmful for drinking water systems because it can lead to the creation of carcinogenic byproducts in treated drinking water that are difficult and costly to remove.

In response to today’s announcement, Jennifer Peters, Water Programs Director at Clean Water Action issued this statement:

“With this proposal, EPA is sending a clear message that coal plants will no longer have a free pass to contaminate drinking water sources with toxic metals, bromide, and other harmful pollutants. For far too long communities throughout our country have been burdened by this pollution, which coal plants should have ceased dumping decades ago. We urge EPA to move swiftly to finalize a protective rule that will at long last give much needed relief to communities disproportionately impacted by dirty coal plants.”

In 2020 Clean Water Action joined an Earthjustice lawsuit challenging weakening of these regulations by the Trump administration, and today’s proposed rule is in response to that case. There will be a 60-day public comment period on the proposal following publication in the federal register.


Since our founding during the campaign to pass the landmark Clean Water Act in 1972, Clean Water Action has worked to win strong health and environmental protections by bringing issue expertise, solution-oriented thinking and people power to the table. Learn more at

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Jennifer Peters
LaTrice Harrison

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