“At a time when the EPA — now being run by a coal lobbyist — is trying to roll back federal regulations on coal ash, these new data provide convincing evidence that we should be moving in the opposite direction,” says Abel Russ, lead author of the report. Other news on the environment looks at “forever chemicals,” an underground fire, and dangerous fire-fighting chemicals, as well.
Environmental watchdogs say the power industry’s own data show widespread groundwater contamination near sites storing coal ash, a toxic byproduct of burning coal to generate electricity. Groundwater monitoring wells near coal ash storage sites used by 265 coal power plants reveal unsafe levels of arsenic, lithium and other pollutants in most of them, according to an assessment by the Environmental Integrity Project, Earthjustice and other environmental groups being released Monday. (Dlouhy, 3/4)
The vast majority of ponds and landfills holding coal waste at 250 power plants across the country have leaked toxic chemicals into nearby groundwater, according to an analysis of public monitoring data released Monday by environmental groups. The report, published jointly by the Environmental Integrity Project and Earthjustice, found that 91 percent of the nation’s coal-fired power plants reported elevated levels of contaminants such as arsenic, lithium, chromium and other pollutants in nearby groundwater. (Mufson and Dennis, 3/4)
A bipartisan group of senators have backed a proposal to force the EPA to regulate so-called forever chemicals. … Groundwater and drinking water contaminated by these chemicals, used for decades in a wide variety of household goods and manufacturing processes, has become an emerging issue in Congress. Older forms of the chemicals have been discovered to be carcinogenic and to increase the likelihood of health problems such as thyroid problems, ulcerative colitis and low birth weight in infants. (Holzman, 3/1)
More than seven months after residents first noticed a fire at an illegal dumping site in northwest Arkansas, it’s still smoldering, sending noxious smoke throughout the town and seeping into homes, with costs to extinguish the fire estimated at tens of millions of dollars. Chris Nelson, 40, lives with his wife and 4-year-old son in a house that’s a little more than 1000 feet (305 meters) from the shuttered dumping site. He said his family has experienced a persistent cough since the blaze started, his wife has been diagnosed with bronchitis and his son has been on multiple rounds of antibiotics. (Grabenstein, 3/3)
Of Florida’s 45 certified firefighting training facilities, 27 are known or suspected to have used those toxic chemicals, part of a family of chemicals known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS. But so far only four sites have been tested by the state Department of Environmental Protection for environmental contamination. (Koh and Gross, 3/1)
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