Coal Ash Sites Nationwide May be Violating Federal Ban on Open Dumping by Contaminating Groundwater with Toxic Pollution

June 23, 2011

A large number of active coal ash disposal sites in 19 states may be violating a federal ban on open dumping, according to a major new analysis released today by the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP).

EIP found levels of groundwater contamination at 33 coal ash landfills or impoundments nationwide that are high enough to trigger the “open dumping” provisions of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). Based on a review of recent (though limited) groundwater monitoring data from state agencies, the 33 active coal ash disposal sites in 19 states — Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Texas — meet the open dumping criteria for one or more of the following coal ash-related pollutants: arsenic, barium, cadmium, chromium, fluoride, lead, mercury, and selenium.

This list includes chemicals that cause cancer, neurological damage, developmental problems, and other diseases. Groundwater that meets the open dumping criteria is toxic and unsafe to drink.

For the press release, click here

For the report, click here