A National Movement
to Protect Our Health
National consciousness around the dangers of coal ash significantly increased after the Kingston Coal Ash Disaster. This catastrophic dam breach, galvanized concerned citizens around the country to take action to protect human health and safety.
On December 19, 2014, nearly six years after the Kingston Disaster, EPA released the Disposal of Coal Combustion Residuals from Electric Utilities final rule otherwise known as the coal ash rule. EPA is now regulating coal ash under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), but despite the clear risks, the agency declined to classify the toxic substance as “hazardous” under RCRA. This means that states are not required to implement the rule and the federal government is not enforcing the rule—leaving enforcement to the utilities (and other owners) themselves, the states, and via citizen suits.
A team of environmental and social justice organizations, including Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, Southern Environmental Law Center, Appalachian Voices, North Carolina Conservation Network, and others, is acting to protect our waterways and our health from toxic coal ash, with initiatives from federal and state policy engagement to public outreach and education, including through this website.
We are working with local organizations and individuals to collect new water quality data around selected Southeastern coal ash storage facilities. Currently, the data available on storage facilities comes from utilities self-reporting to state and federal regulators. We are also empowering citizens to get educated about and involved in addressing a major threat to their health and environment that has flown under the radar for too long.
Beyond this monitoring program, we are also involved in:
- Educating and providing access to information about coal ash and its impacts.
- Stopping Congressional attempts to undermine EPA’s authority to establish coal ash standards.
- And holding utilities accountable for their pollution and using the legal system to force them to stop contaminating our air and water.