US: Trump’s EPA Moves to Rollback Obama-Era Coal Power Plant Waste Rules - - PressFrom - US
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US Trump’s EPA Moves to Rollback Obama-Era Coal Power Plant Waste Rules

21:25  04 november  2019
21:25  04 november  2019 Source:   usnews.com

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The Trump administration on Monday said it plans to loosen Obama-era regulations on toxic waste storage at coal-fired power plants.

smoke coming from it: ROMEOVILLE, ILLINOIS - FEBRUARY 01: Smoke rises from a coal-fired power plant on February 01, 2019 in Romeoville, Illinois. The recent polar vortex taxed power systems across the Midwest as demand for electricity climbed as temperatures plunged. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)© (Scott Olson/Getty Images) ROMEOVILLE, ILLINOIS - FEBRUARY 01: Smoke rises from a coal-fired power plant on February 01, 2019 in Romeoville, Illinois. The recent polar vortex taxed power systems across the Midwest as demand for electricity climbed as temperatures plunged. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

The 2015 regulations aimed to crack down on how power plants store and dispose of coal ash, which is what is left after coal is burned. Coal ash, which is typically mixed into water and stored in waste ponds, can contain mercury, arsenic and other heavy metals.

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Under the Environmental Protection Agency's new proposed rule, coal plants would have until August 2020 to stop storing coal ash in unlined waste ponds. At that time, utilities would need to close their unlined ponds or install new lining. However, some companies would be able to request extensions for up to eight years.

The move is the Trump administration's latest attempt to throw a lifeline to the coal industry, which has complained that the 2015 rules were costly. The agency said the proposal would save utilities over $175 million annually in compliance costs.

EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said in a statement that the Obama-era regulations "placed heavy burdens on electricity producers across the country."

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The 2015 rules were created following the 2008 disaster in Tennessee when a coal ash pond spilled more than a billion gallons of contaminated slurry into waterways and homes and the 2014 spill in North Carolina, which sent millions of gallons of coal ash into the Dan River.

A recent study from Duke University found that the proposed regulations raise the risk that toxic elements could leak from the ponds into nearby water supplies.

Environmental groups decried the EPA's proposal.

"Andrew Wheeler and Donald Trump proved again today that they will put the drinking water of millions of Americans at risk. This time, they are allowing dirty coal plants to dump their industrial waste into our rivers, streams, and waterways -- all just to save wealthy coal and utility executives a few dollars," Mary Anne Hitt, senior director of Sierra Club's Beyond Coal campaign, said in a statement. "This rollback won't revive the coal industry either, as coal plants continue to retire and Americans demand the cheaper clean energy now available nationwide."

Copyright 2019 U.S. News & World Report

Trump says he has not agreed to roll back tariffs on Chinese goods .
Officials from both countries on Thursday had said China and the United States have agreed to roll back tariffs on each others' goods in a "phase one" trade deal. But the idea of tariff rollbacks met with stiff opposition within the Trump administration, Reuters reported later on Thursday. Those divisions were on full display on Friday, when Trump - who has repeatedly described himself as "Tariff Man" - told reporters at the White House that he had not agreed to reduce tariffs already put in place."China would like to get somewhat of a rollback, not a complete rollback, 'cause they know I won't do it," Trump said.

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