Tell the EPA: Keep Our Water Clean and Safe

Tell the EPA: Keep Our Water Clean and Safe

About the Petition

Every year, the nation’s coal plants produce 140 million tons of coal ash pollution, the toxic by-product that is left over after the coal is burned. All that ash has to go somewhere, so it’s dumped in the backyards of power plants across the nation, into open-air pits and precarious surface waste ponds. Many of these sites lack adequate safeguards, leaving nearby communities at risk from potential large-scale disasters like the massive coal ash spill in Tennessee in 2008, and from gradual yet equally dangerous contamination as coal ash toxins seep into drinking water sources or are blown into nearby communities.

Coal ash pollution contains high levels of toxic heavy metals such as arsenic, lead, selenium, and hexavalent chromium. The public health hazards and environmental threats to nearby communities from unsafe coal ash dumping have been known for many years, including increased risk of cancer, learning disabilities, neurological disorders, birth defects, reproductive failure, asthma, and other illnesses.

Coal ash is not subject to federal protections, and state laws governing coal combustion waste disposal are usually weak or non-existent. The result: millions of tons of coal ash are being stored in ponds, landfills, and abandoned mines.

Photo Credit: Juan Silva/Getty Images

Empowered bySierra Club

The Sierra Club's mission is to explore, enjoy, and protect the wild places of the earth.

Updates & News

  • Feb 17 2016

    We did it, again!

    Thank you for helping us reach 30,000 supporters! We've now upped our goal to 60,000 signatures! Let's keep the momentum going to urge the EPA to follow strong water quality standards.

  • Apr 30 2015

    We did it!

    Thank you for helping us reach 20,000 supporters! Let's keep the momentum going!