As we all deal with a global pandemic with COVID-19, we wanted to let you know how the Sierra Club is adapting and responding so we can keep doing the important work of helping our communities, protecting our natural and human environment and fighting for a just, clean energy future.
Coal ash site
The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to allow companies to delay of closure unlined, hazardous coal ash ponds.

Demand that EPA do its job: Protect your health and our environment from toxic coal ash.


Even as people across the country face the ongoing and growing coronavirus pandemic, the Trump EPA is still finding ways to help polluters. For the sixth time, the administration has issued plans that will allow coal ash dumps to continue polluting the waters millions of us rely on for drinking and recreation.

Tell the EPA to drop these reckless plans that will let toxic coal ash pollution continue in our communities unchecked.

For decades, utilities have used the cheapest, easiest, and most dangerous method for coal ash disposal — dumping the waste into unlined ponds next to power plants. These ponds are scattered across the U.S., spanning scores of acres and containing millions of tons of waste stored behind aging dams of soil and ash. They also sit close to communities and many of these ponds are leaking deadly poisons and radioactive substances, including carcinogens like arsenic, and neurotoxins such as lead and mercury near drinking water.

Instead of strengthening the protections for coal ash that the Obama administration put in place in 2015, the Trump EPA wants to make it easier for these leaking coal ash ponds to pollute longer and with little to no oversight or public transparency.

Join me in telling the EPA to withdraw these huge giveaways to polluters immediately.

The Trump EPA’s toxic coal ash proposals contain several dangerous provisions and would:

  • Allow unlined coal ash ponds to operate indefinitely, despite a 2018 federal court order requiring these risky sites to close because they’re contaminating groundwater;
  • Let coal utilities keep dumping waste into ponds that are set to close even though many of them are in areas prone to spills and accidents; and
  • Let EPA issue federal permits to states for coal ash ponds that would never expire and without public review. That means these permits would be issued with even less public process than permits for household trash dumps!

The 2015 coal ash rules are protecting thousands of our communities from toxic pollution every day. Yet, at a time when the public’s health should be at the top of his administration’s agenda, it’s actually the farthest thing from it. The EPA’s attempt to weaken these protections is nothing more than a total giveaway to the industry and their proposals must be rejected.

Tell the EPA to reject these dangerous rollbacks today!


Jonathan Levenshus
Director of Federal Campaigns
Sierra Club Beyond Coal Campaign

P.S. The EPA is holding three virtual public hearings in April. RSVP here to listen or to speak at one of the hearings and we will be in touch with next steps.

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