Utilities group petitions EPA head to upend coal ash rule

May 12, 2017 - 6:35 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — A utilities group is asking the Environmental Protection Agency to sweep away rules governing the disposal of the poison-laden ash left behind when coal is burned to generate electricity.

The Utility Solid Waste Activities Group filed a petition Friday asking EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to reconsider broad sections of the Coal Combustion Residuals Rule.

The EPA chief has expressed his willingness to gut or freeze environmental regulations finalized under the Obama administration, especially if doing so aids the fossil fuel industry. Like President Donald Trump, Pruitt denies the consensus of climate scientists that manmade carbon emissions are the primary driver of climate change.

The nation's coal-fired power plants produce tens of millions of tons of coal ash each year that contain such toxic heavy metals as arsenic, lead and mercury.

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