Sarbanes Urges Trump EPA to Reverse Polluter-Friendly Policies and Clean Up Coal Ash Groundwater Contamination

Congressman John Sarbanes (D-Md.) today joined Congressmen Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), Bobby Rush (D-Ill.), David Price (D-N.C.) and 27 other Members of Congress in calling out the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) failure to protect groundwater from coal ash pollution in hundreds of American communities.

“Electric utilities have been getting away with dangerous dumping of toxic coal ash for more than a century,” the Members wrote. “Fortunately, in 2015, the EPA established the first-ever standards for the disposal of coal ash. The federal Coal Ash Rule requires critical safeguards, including groundwater monitoring, the shutdown of leaking dumps and dumps in dangerous locations, the cleanup of contaminated water and safe closure.”

The Members continued: “Despite these critically needed requirements and widespread evidence of contamination, it seems that the EPA is intent on weakening the new federal protections…. We urge the EPA to protect the health of communities near the hundreds of contaminated sites identified by the industry’s own monitoring data. Vulnerable communities are living with the devastating impacts of coal ash contamination every day, and we expect the EPA to live up to its statutory duty to protect human health and the environment from this toxic waste.”