Progress

14,650 signed
5,350 more needed

Sign the Petition to

Gina McCarthy, EPA Administrator

Along with all 2.1 million Sierra Club members and supporters, I urge the Environmental Protection Agency to finalize zero-discharge water pollution standards to limit the amount of toxic metals that can be dumped into our waters from power plants.

By requiring coal plants to move hazardous coal ash with dry systems, rather than with water, the EPA can eliminate millions of gallons of dangerous ash wastewater every year. Smokestack scrubber sludge can also be treated using zero-discharge systems, and certainly requires at least biological and chemical treatment to remove toxic heavy metals like selenium, arsenic, mercury, and lead.

The Environmental Protection Agency's strongest proposed approach is sensible, affordable, and already being used by some coal plants. Limiting the amount of pollution in our water will save lives, prevent children from getting sick, and ensure our water is safe to drink and our fish safe to eat. It should be finalized and put into force as soon as possible.

Signed,

Sierra Club

This petition closed 8 months ago

How this will help

Burning coal for electricity produces ash and sludge full of arsenic, boron, cadmium, chromium, lead, mercury, and selenium. Where do you think it all goes? 

That's right -- the same power plants...

Burning coal for electricity produces ash and sludge full of arsenic, boron, cadmium, chromium, lead, mercury, and selenium. Where do you think it all goes? 

That's right -- the same power plants that are causing asthma with their soot and wrecking our climate with their carbon are also dumping tons of toxic waste into our waters. They spew millions of pounds of pollutants into America's waterways every year -- and they'll keep at it as long as Reagan-era EPA rules go unchanged. 

We've come a long way since the current water pollution rule was written in 1982. We know a lot more about the toxic waste that coal plants dump into pits, ponds, lakes, and streams. We've also shown that grassroots voices like yours can have a huge impact when we all stand together and demand better protections for our families. 

We can't wait another 30 years to get this right. Tell the EPA that it's time to update our water safeguards and protect our communities against toxic coal wastewater!

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