Coal-fired power plants produce more toxic waste than any other industry in the United States, including the chemical, plastic, and paint manufacturing industries. They spew millions of pounds of pollutants into our waters every year -- and they'll keep at it as long as Reagan-era EPA rules go unchanged.
Tell the EPA that we need the strongest possible safeguards against toxic wastewater. We can't wait another 30 years to get this right!
Subject: Keep coal waste out of my water (Docket No. EPA-HQ-OW-2009-0819)
Dear Acting Administrator Perciasepe,
Along with all 2.1 million Sierra Club members and supporters, I urge the Environmental Protection Agency to finalize zero-discharge water pollution standards to limit the amount of toxic metals that can be dumped into our waters from power plants.
By requiring coal plants to move hazardous coal ash with dry systems, rather than with water, the EPA can eliminate millions of gallons of dangerous ash wastewater every year. Smokestack scrubber sludge can also be treated using zero-discharge systems, and certainly requires at least biological and chemical treatment to remove toxic heavy metals like selenium, arsenic, mercury, and lead.
The Environmental Protection Agency's strongest proposed approach is sensible, affordable, and already being used by some coal plants. Limiting the amount of pollution in our water will save lives, prevent children from getting sick, and ensure our water is safe to drink and our fish safe to eat. It should be finalized and put into force as soon as possible.