US won’t impose rule to protect against coal ash spill costs

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The Trump administration says it won’t require electric utilities to show they have money to clean up hazardous releases from power plants despite a history of toxic coal ash spills that have contaminated waterways.

Environmental Protection Agency officials said Tuesday that modern industry practices and recently enacted regulations are sufficient to shield taxpayers from potential cleanup costs.

The finding comes after the EPA last year reversed a related proposal under President Barack Obama that would have imposed new financial requirements on the hardrock mining industry.

In both cases, industry lobbyists pushed back against requirements that could have meant higher costs for companies.

Under a court order, the EPA has spent the past several years reviewing the extent to which the nation’s most polluting industries cover cleanup costs from pollution.

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