The Washington Post – The Environmental Protection Agency finalized a rule Tuesday to overhaul requirements for handling the toxic waste produced by burning coal, providing more flexibility to state and industry officials who had sought a rollback of restrictions put in place in 2015.
The far-reaching rule will dictate how coal ash, which has contaminated waterways in two high-profile spills in Tennessee and North Carolina in the past decade, is stored at more than 400 coal-fired power plants around the country.
The new standards — the first major rule signed by EPA acting administrator Andrew Wheeler — will extend the life of some existing ash ponds from April 2019 until October 2020, empower states to suspend groundwater monitoring in certain cases and allow state officials to certify whether utilities’ facilities meet adequate standards. EPA officials estimate that the rule change will save the industry between $28 million and $31 million a year in compliance costs.
Read more at The Washington Post.