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Advocacy groups press EPA on loophole that leaves coal ash unregulated, including in Orlando

The cooling towers at the Stanton Energy Center, a coal-fired power plant, are seen behind a home in Orlando. Photo courtesy NPR

Some 120 environmental and advocacy groups nationwide are calling for more action from the Biden administration on the toxic legacy of coal ash. 

That includes coal ash at Stanton Energy Center in Orlando. 

The groups want the Environmental Protection Agency to address a federal loophole they say leaves nearly a billion tons of coal ash unregulated. 

Coal ash is the waste that remains after coal is burned. The waste has been linked with cancer and other ailments. 

The EPA in 2015 adopted the first-ever regulations on coal ash, but they applied to existing and new sites. Closed sites, like the landfill at Stanton Energy Center in Orlando, were exempted. 

The Orlando Utilities Commission, which oversees Stanton, says the coal ash is safe and has adopted a plan for phasing out coal-based power production by 2027. 

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Amy Green

About Amy Green

Reporter and Producer

Amy Green covers the environment and climate change at WMFE News. She is an award-winning journalist and author whose extensive reporting on the Everglades is featured in the book MOVING WATER, published by Johns Hopkins University Press, and podcast DRAINED, available wherever you get your podcasts. Amy’s ... Read Full Bio »