EPA Misses Another Deadline on Critical Power Sector Regs

In response to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) missing its planned release of an updated Coal Ash rule in the month of November, Evergreen Action Power Sector Policy Lead Charles Harper released the following statement: 

“EPA needs to speed up in executing on its critical environmental, health, and climate agenda. According to the White House’s own timeline, EPA was supposed to have released an updated Coal Ash rule for legacy surface impoundments in November, but a week into December there’s no update in sight. This rule is imperative for closing the loopholes that big polluters exploit to store toxic coal ash, putting frontline communities directly at risk. For decades, owners of coal-fired power plants have cut corners, dumping toxic coal ash waste into unlined and unmonitored storage ponds and landfills. We need an updated Coal Ash rule so that all storage facilities are finally subject to stringent environmental standards.

“The Biden administration cannot rest on its laurels in the wake of IRA passage. While that legislation is transformational, there is more work to do to tackle power sector pollution and EPA needs to act fast. EPA must speed up its work by implementing a robust regulatory agenda that prioritizes our planet and the communities most impacted by pollution. We look forward to the agency finally moving ahead on this rule and the full suite of rules to comprehensively tackle power plant pollution and drive towards 100% clean power.”

The administration announced its plans to release a Coal Ash proposed rule by November of this year in the Spring 2022 Unified Agenda. In October, Evergreen Action released Falling Behind: A Report Card on the EPA’s Progress on 10 Important Power Sector Rules, which reviewed EPA’s progress on the regulations that are key to cutting air, water, and climate pollution from power plants, including the Coal Ash rule. Only 1 out of 10 rules are currently on track. You can read the full review of EPA’s progress, along with our recommendations here.