By David Martin Davies, Texas Public Radio
Everyday tons of coal in Texas are burned to generate our electricity. There are plenty of federal regulations about what comes out of the smoke stack – but none for the ash waste – which contain heavy metals and other toxic contaminants.
The coal ash is dumped in landfills with little to no required safeguards, leading to contaminated soil and groundwater.
Now the Environmental Protection Agency is looking at regulating coal ash for the first time.
A recent study by Earthjustice found that a coal ash site at the Fayette Power Project in LaGrange – 75 miles- southeast of Austin is contaminating two creeks with arsenic.
The electric power industry is lobbying to keep regulation up to individual states.
The EPA public hearing is in Dallas on Wednesday.
Current: Texas leads nation in coal ash waste production