Pruitt hands over toxic coal ash waste oversight to states—starting with Oklahoma
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is shifting oversight of coal ash waste disposal from the federal government to the states—beginning with Administrator Scott Pruitt’s home state of Oklahoma. Coal ash is the toxic residue from burning coal—and it’s bad news if you live near a power plant. The U.S. electric utility industry produces 100 million tons of coal ash and other pollutants each year, and reports have shown that the waste, when stored in landfills and unlined containment ponds, contaminates groundwater with harmful substances like arsenic and radium. Letting states take over is not a good idea. Prior to 2015, states were in charge of their own coal ash disposal, resulting in several spills and widespread groundwater pollution.