The Environmental Protection Agency announced today that it plans to develop regulations for managing coal waste. The news comes a little less than three months after a coal ash spill in Tennessee buried more than 300 acres under ashy sludge, polluted nearby rivers, killed fish, and destroyed homes.
The EPA has also instructed electric utilities with ash ponds to provide detailed information on the “structural integrity” of those impoundments, of which there could be as many as 300 across the nation. Agency officials hope to discover problems at any ponds before they become disasters. And EPA inspectors will be visiting many of the structures.
The information the agency gathers will be available, eventually, to the public. Proposed regulation should also be available for public comment by the end of the year.