Ineffective State Coal Ash Programs
Because there are no federal rules regarding coal ash, protecting Americans from coal ash pollution is left to the states. Unfortunately, state programs are woefully inadequate, and vary widely from state to state, leaving citizens and industry with uncertainty. Even Tennessee, home of the tragic Kingston coal ash disaster, does not have safeguards designed to prevent future structural disasters or address ongoing groundwater contamination. This report from Earthjustice highlights the failure of state programs across the country.
The following table shows state-specific requirements for selected states in the Southeast.
SE Coal Ash Storage Requirements
|Storage Requirement, by State||AL||FL||GA||KY||MS||NC||SC||TN||VA|
|Require groundwater monitoring at all new and existing ponds||No||No||No||No||No||No||No||No||No|
|Require groundwater monitoring at all new and existing landfills||No||No||No||No||No||No||No||No||No|
|Require composite liners for all new ponds||No||No||No||No||No||No||No||No||No|
|Require composite liners for all new landfills||Yes||No||No||No||No||Yes||No||No||No|
|Prohibit ash ponds from being constructed in the water table||No||No||No||No||No||Yes||No||No||No|
|Prohibit coal ash landfills from being constructed in the water table||Yes||No||No||No||No||Yes||No||No||No|
|Require financial assurance for coal ash ponds||No||No||Yes||No||No||No||No||No||No|
|Require financial assurance for coal ash landfills||Yes||No||Yes||No||No||Yes||Yes||No||No|