A State’s Role in Coal Ash Regulation
The Southeast has the highest concentration of coal ash dump sites in any region in the nation. In December, EPA finalized its minimum standards for coal ash disposal and put states in charge of implementing EPA’s rules to regulated this toxic trash. But Southeastern states do not have a good track record when it comes to protecting communities and the environment from coal ash. Furthermore, states often face obstacles such as budget constraints, industry pressure, and conflicting priorities among decision makers, inhibiting the proper regulation of coal ash at the state level. 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.
See our state-specific pages for more information on coal ash in each Southeastern state.
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|