Contaminated Coal Waste
Waste Projections by State
Around the country, 70 new conventional coal-fired power plants have been proposed. If built, these plants would produce more than 15 million tons of coal waste per year, contaminated by over 15 thousand tons of toxic metals. Waste projections for new and proposed plants only include fly and bottom ash.
Some new and proposed plants convert coal into a gas before combustion, a process called gasification, which results in a significantly different solid waste than that from conventional coal plants, with a much lower environmental risk. Those plants are not included in the summaries that appear on this page.
We call the states that would see the most contaminated coal waste from new plants the "Terrible Twenty Five."
|State Name||Number of New Plants||Projected Tons of Coal Waste||Projected Tons of Toxic Metals||Rank by Coal Waste|
Sources: Permit applications and news reports for new plants; Energy Information Administration data; NRDC estimates. The most recent data available from the EIA is from 2005 and it is possible that operational changes at particular plants will have changed the yearly waste volumes and disposal methods. Click here for detailed glossary of terms and our methodology.
last revised 3/12/2009
Get Updates and Alerts
NRDC Gets Top Ratings from the Charity Watchdogs
- Charity Navigator awards NRDC its 4-star top rating.
- Worth magazine named NRDC one of America's 100 best charities.
- NRDC meets the highest standards of the Wise Giving Alliance of the Better Business Bureau.
- Efficient Appliances Save Energy -- and Money
- A consumer's guide to buying energy efficient appliances and electronics.