Coal ash stored near coal-fired power plants is contaminating groundwater, finds a comprehensive report recently by Environmental Integrity Project and Earthjustice. Recognizing and quantifying groundwater pollution is important because more than one-third of people in the United States rely on aquifers for water supplies at home, school and work. Coal ash is the byproduct of burning coal.
Communities are experiencing groundwater pollution from fossil fuel companies all around the country. The report showed that groundwater underneath 91 percent of coal plants has been contaminated by noxious cocktail of poisonous chemicals from coal ash. Elevated levels of chemicals toxic to humans were detected in groundwater, from arsenic to cadmium to lithium.
“We’re facing a water crisis nationwide, caused by coal ash and perpetuated by the Trump administration,” said Lisa Evans, Earthjustice senior counsel, on a national press call.
Not only is burning coal for power production contributing to climate change, it is also causing great harm to US water resources, and the Trump administration is worsening this by rolling back regulations like the Obama-era coal ash rule.