Progress Energy's coal-fired plant near Asheville.

Duke Energy’s coal-fired plant near Asheville.

Hundreds attend limited public hearing on power plant water pollution

Washington, D.C. – On April 22, after more than 30 years of delay, the EPA proposed a new rule under the federal Clean Water Act that contains a variety of options for cleaning up toxic water pollution from coal-fired power plants.

Power plants are some of the biggest sources of water pollution in the country, having already poisoned hundreds of lakes, rivers, bays, streams and aquifers. These are waters from which many nearby communities drink, swim and fish.

Today, at its Washington, D.C. headquarters, the EPA is holding the first and only public hearing on the proposed rule.

But the EPA has limited the scope and length of the public hearing, much to the disappointment of the hundreds of citizens who want to tell their stories of poisoned waters.

The following statement is from Alliance for the Great Lakes (IL), Appalachian Voices, Biscayne Bay Waterkeeper (FL), Chesapeake Climate Action Network (MD), Clean Water for North Carolina (NC), Comite Dialogo Ambiental (PR), Earthjustice, Environmental Integrity Project, French Broad Riverkeeper (NC), Greenpeace, Haw Riverkeeper (NC), Labadie Environmental Organization (MO), Little Blue Regional Action Group (PA), Milwaukee Riverkeeper (WI), National Hispanic Medical Association, National Latino Coalition on Climate Change, Patuxent Riverkeeper (MD), Potomac Riverkeeper (DC), Prairie Rivers Network (IL), Sierra Club, Watauga Riverkeeper (NC), Waterkeeper Alliance and Western North Carolina Alliance (NC):

“It is time for the EPA to end the power industries’ long history of destroying our lakes, rivers, and streams with toxic pollution. We are going to do all we can to ensure comprehensive rules are adopted that will require power plants to clean up all of their toxic wastewater pollution, not just some of it.

“By far the best option proposed by the EPA is for power plants to install zero liquid discharge technology and convert to safer coal ash handling systems that will eliminate discharges of the most contaminated wastewaters entirely. We hope the EPA will adopt the strongest protections for our waters from this pollution.

“The EPA has called this hearing only on part of the proposed rule, so-called ‘pretreatment’ standards for coal waste going to public water treatment facilities. The agency needs to listen more broadly. It is important that the EPA hear from the public on the rule as a whole, because so many of us are affected by toxic water pollution from power plants in our rivers, lakes and streams.”

Contacts:

Anna Jane Joyner, Western North Carolina Alliance (828) 258-8737; AnnaJane@WNCA.org
Lyman C. Welch, Alliance for the Great Lakes (312) 445-9739; lwelch@greatlakes.org
Sandra Diaz, Appalachian Voices (828) 262-1500; Sandra@appvoices.org
Diana Dascalu-Joffe, Chesapeake Climate Action Network (240) 396-1984; Diana@chesapeakeclimate.org
Katie Hicks, Clean Water for North Carolina (828) 251-1291; katie@cwfnc.org
Ruth Santiago, Comite Dialogo Ambiental, (787) 312-2223; rstgo2@gmail.com
Raviya Ismail, Earthjustice (202) 745-5221; rismail@earthjustice.org
Jennifer Duggan, Environmental Integrity Project, (802) 225-6774; jduggan@environmentalintegrity.org
Robert Gardner, Greenpeace (540) 421-7558; rgardner@greenpeace.org
Patricia Schuba, Labadie Environmental Organization (636) 402-8460; prsmail@gmail.com
Elena Rios, National Hispanic Medical Association (202) 628-5895; erios@nhmamd.org
Mark Magaña, National Latino Coalition on Climate Change (202) 230-2070; markmagana@gmail.com
Fred Tutman, Patuxent Riverkeeper (240) 393-1547; fred@paxriverkeeper.org
Traci Barkley, Prairie Rivers Network (217) 344-2371; tbarkley@prairierivers.org
Eitan Bencuya, Sierra Club (202) 495-3047; eitan.bencuya@sierraclub.org
Brittany Kraft, Waterkeeper Alliance (678) 761-6584; bkraft@waterkeeper.org