Court throws out new coal ash disposal rules offered by Trump EPA

It’s unclear how a new federal court ruling will impact Oklahoma’s power over coal ash disposal, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has thrown out some Trump administration rules saying they weren’t stringent enough.

The ruling came in a fight by environmental groups against the actions of the Trump Environmental Protection Agency.

The Circuit Court tossed provisions that allowed unlined and clay-lined impoundments to receive coal ash as well as an exemption for inactive impoundments at power plants no longer producing energy. The three-judge panel ruled the provisions failed to lower what they called “significant risk” connected to the toxic sludge.

Coal ash is common to power plants where coal was burned in Oklahoma and the best known of them is near the southeast town of Bokoshe. It is there that  residents have claimed they experienced increased rates of cancer due to the nearby mountain of coal ash.

The judges in Washington D.C. said the Trump administration EPA’s approach “does not address the identified health and environmental harms documented in the record….Moreover, the EPA has not shown that harmful leaks will be promptly detected; that once detected, they will be promptly stopped; or that contamination, once it occurs, can be remedied.”

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Click here to read the court opinion.