Cleaning Up Coal Ash and Power Plant Pollution

Clean Water Action is fighting to protect communities from toxic power plant water pollution. For decades the power plant industry enjoyed a free pass to dump unlimited amounts of dangerous chemicals directly into our surface water, including sources of water used for drinking. As long overdue new national protections go into effect, we will be fighting back against the power plant industry’s push to weaken them.

Putting Drinking Water First #1

Put Drinking Water First: Time to Curb Power Plants' Toxic Pollution

Clean Water Action’s analysis of supporting documents for the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Proposed Effluent Limitations Guidelines and Standards for the Steam Electric Power Generating Point Source Category confirms that power plant discharges to surface water often include contaminants that experts consider to be “contaminants of concern” when found in drinking water. 

Who will protect our water?

Selling Our Health Down the River

Fossil-fuel burning power plants discharge at least 5 .5 billion pounds of pollution into rivers, streams, lakes and bays each year.

Clean Water Currents | Spring 2016

Clean Water Currents Spring 2016

In this issue: Putting Drinking Water First; EPA and Congress Take Action; Curbing Climate Pollution from the Oil and Gas Industry Now, Not Later; New Methane Standards in Pennsylvania; Aliso Canyon and Lost Hills: Symptons of a Broken System; and more.

Cover - Closing the Floodgates

Closing the Floodgates

Coal-fired power plants are the largest source of toxic water pollution in the United States, dumping billions of pounds of pollution into America’s rivers, lakes, and streams each year. These pollutants, including lead and mercury, are dangerous to humans and wreak havoc in our watersheds even in very small amounts.  It’s time for power plants to stop using our rivers, lakes and streams as open sewers to dump their waste! 

From We All Live Downstream

photo: coal ash dump / shutterstock
April 27, 2018

Scott Pruitt is failing our children -- on purpose.

Image of Chalk Point Coal Plant from MD Sierra Club
August 22, 2017

Update: Thank you to all of our members who sent comments. The comment period is now closed - we will update you when there is an update.

We have a problem with coal-fired power plants dumping toxic pollutants such as lead, mercury, arsenic, and selenium into our waterways. These pollutants concentrate in the food chain, and already Maryland has fish consumption advisories for mercury in over ten species.

October 5, 2015

For years Clean Water Action and our allies have been fighting to rein in the largest toxic water polluter in the U.S. – coal-burning power plants. It’s no secret that coal-burning power plants pollute our air with unhealthy chemicals. What is not as well known is these plants have also been dumping arsenic, lead, mercury, selenium and other nasty pollutants directly into our lakes, rivers, streams, and bays for decades – far more than any other polluting industry. At the end of September, the U.S. Environmental Protection (EPA) finally closed this longstanding polluter loophole in our nation’s Clean Water Act.