Selling Our Health Down the River: Why EPA Needs to Finalize the Strongest Rules to Stop Water Pollution from Power Plants

Sierra Club | Physicians for Social Responsibility |Environmental Integrity Project | Earthjustice | Clean Water Action

Fossil-fuel burning power plants discharge at least 5 .5 billion pounds of pollution into rivers, streams, lakes and bays each year. Coal-burning plants in particular discharge some of the most dangerous heavy  metals  on earth, including arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, mercury and selenium.

Power  plant  wastewater has contributed to over 23,000 miles of contaminated rivers, fish too polluted to eat in 185 bodies of water, and the degradation of 399 water bodies that are used as public drinking water sources .

In September 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)  will issue new regulations to reduce  toxic pollutants in power plant wastewater, which will produce enormous benefits to human health and the environment. This report discusses the health benefits the new rules could achieve by eliminating toxic power plant  water pollution and examines EPA’s estimate of the monetary value of these benefits.


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