Friday, November 7, 2014

Environmental advocates launch coal ash site

The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy and its partners have added an interactive tool to their website about the 450 coal ash ponds spread across nine states.

The site can now generate power plant-specific reports with data on coal ash capacity, dam hazard ratings and known contamination.

The feature was added as the Environmental Protection Agency prepares to release the first federal rules on ash in December. The agency's key decision will be whether to regulate ash as hazardous waste. EPA rules to be released next September, on wastewater discharges from power plants, could also limit use of ash ponds.

The coal-intensive Southeast was the scene of the two spills that drew federal attention to coal ash regulation -- the first by the Tennessee Valley Authority in 2008, followed by Duke Energy's spill into North Carolina and Virginia's Dan River in February.

The alliance worked with Appalachian Voices, the North Carolina Conservation Network and the Southern Environmental Law Center on the site.

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