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Coal Plant Water Pollution

water pollution

TOXIC METALS IN OUR WATER

Every year, coal-fired power plants dump millions of tons of toxic metals into our waterways. In fact, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, 72 percent of all toxic water pollution in the country comes from coal-fired power plants, making coal plants the number one source of toxic water pollution in the U.S.(1) What’s more, 4 out of 5 coal plants in the U.S. have no limits on the amount of toxics they are allowed to dump into our water.(2) 

Coal plants across the country are disposing of toxic heavy metals like arsenic, selenium, boron, cadmium, mercury, and lead in our waterways, polluting our drinking water, fishing areas, and local rivers and streams. Research has shown that exposure to these dangerous chemicals can lead to birth defects, cancer, and even death—meaning that limiting these pollutants will not only clean up our water, but will also save lives.

The existing standards governing water pollution from power plants have not been updated in 30 years. The Environmental Protection Agency has repeatedly acknowledged that the existing guidelines have not kept pace with developments in the industry and the current standards fail to address the worst pollutants that are dumped into our water.

(1) http://core-content/b3b6cefe-e8c2-46ba-a9e6-655242df68b6/banner/colstrip-1-840.jpgwater.epa.gov/lawsregs/lawsguidance/cwa/304m/upload/tsd_effluent_program_10_2011.pdf

(2) Analysis of EPA data