EIP and Allies Agree to Short-Term Extension for Release of EPA Toxic Wastewater Guidelines

Groups Give EPA Until April 2013 to Release Effluent Limitation Guidelines for Power Plants

WASHINGTON D.C. — Today, four environmental groups — Defenders of Wildlife, Earthjustice, Environmental Integrity Project, and Sierra Club — joined the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in filing a joint motion to extend the deadline for releasing new toxic wastewater controls until April 2013.

Coal-fired power plants are the biggest sources of toxic water pollution in the country, but EPA’s stale, thirty-year old control rules do not set any limits controlling dangerous metals like mercury and lead being dumped into waterways from the plants. To protect the public from the nearly three million pounds of toxics the plants release into our waterways annually, the groups went to court two years ago to require EPA to update the rules. EPA was to have released the rules this week, but fell behind. The groups have allowed EPA to take a limited amount of time to complete the rulemaking process, but will allow no additional delay.

“Ensuring the EPA provides the strongest guidelines possible for toxic wastewater from power plants is an important step in protecting American families and ensuring our water is safe to drink,” said Jennifer Peterson, Managing Attorney at Environmental Integrity Project. “Although EPA insisted on this last delay, families across the country can’t wait much longer for clean water.”

EIP: Patrick Mitchel, pmitchell@hastingsgroup.com, 703-276-3266

Sierra Club: Eitan Bencuya, eitan.bencuya@sierraclub.org, 202-495-3047