Arsenic etc in groundwater near US coal ash dumps

The US environmental group Environmental Integrity Project has just issued an updated report on groundwater contamination in the vicinity of coal ash dumps. These dumps are commonly found close to coal-fired power plants but may also be found close to industries that burn large quantities of coal.

According to EIP there are 157 sites across the US where coal ash has contaminated the environment. At many of these, coal ash appears to have contaminated groundwater with arsenic or other pollutants at levels above Maximum Contaminant Levels. Many have shown groundwater concentrations of pollutants such as boron, molybdenum, and manganese, above EPA-recommended Health Advisories for children or adults. In a few cases, groundwater around coal ash dumps is more toxic than hazardous waste leachate.

A summary, a press release, the latest EIP report, and links to prior reports can be found at http://environmentalintegrity.org/12_13_2011.php

To GallonDaily’s knowledge there has been no similar systematic study of groundwater contamination in the vicinity of coal ash dumps in Canada. Readers aware of any such study are invited to submit information for possible publication.

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