EPA's Blind Spot: Hexavalent Chromium in Coal Ash

February 1, 2011

Hexavalent chromium (or Chromium-6) is a cancer-causing pollutant which, after recently being detected in municipal drinking water, has been on EPA’s radar – as studies by the U.S. EPA and California found that drinking water with even minute amounts of hexavalent chromium is likely to increase one’s risk of cancer.  What EPA has not mentioned, however, is that coal-fired power plants release almost ¼ of all of the chromium from all industries into the environment each year, and much of this ends up in unlined coal ash sites.  The industry’s own research suggests that almost 100% of the chromium that then leaks from coal ash dumps and into groundwater is this carcinogenic hexavalent chromium.  A new report by Earthjustice, Physicians for Social Responsibility, and Environmental Integrity Project documents the threat to health from chromium VI leaching from coal ash disposal sites across the country and provides yet another startling reason why EPA must strictly regulate coal ash disposal to prevent leaking of pollutants.


For the Report, click here.

For the Fact Sheet, click here.