EPA rule would force clean-up of toxic coal ash dumped in landfills, ponds near power plants

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency is strengthening a rule aimed at controlling and cleaning up toxic waste from coal-fired power plants. A proposal Wednesday would require safe management of coal ash dumped in hundreds of older landfills, “legacy” ponds and other inactive sites that currently are unregulated at the federal level. EPA Administrator Michael Regan said the plan would hold polluters accountable for controlling and cleaning up coal ash, a byproduct of burning coal that can pollute groundwater, drinking water and air and has been linked to cancer and other health problems. The plan follows an EPA proposal last week to impose new limits on greenhouse gas emissions from coal- and gas-fired power plants.