MICHIGAN CITY—The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized the Legacy Coal Combustion Residuals (CCR) Surface Impoundment Rule. This will extend federal monitoring and clean-up requirements to hundreds of previously excluded older coal ask landfills. State Senator Rodney Pol Jr. (D-Chesterton), a staunch proponent of coal ash clean up, released the following statement:

“For decades, utilities, especially in Northwest Indiana, has disposed of coal ash by dumping it in ponds and landfills. Coal ash is especially harmful which releases dangerous levels of metals, carcinogens, and neurotoxins. Indiana alone has over 100 toxic coal ash sites.

“The EPA’s new rule, which extends federal oversight to previously excluded legacy coal ash landfills and ponds, fills crucial gaps in existing regulations and holds coal plant operators accountable for their environmental footprint. This action is especially timely given the imminent threats posed by deteriorating infrastructure, such as the aging steel sea wall at the NIPSCO Michigan City Generating Station, which underscores the urgency of addressing these hazards promptly and effectively.

“Northwest Indiana has fought for years for this ruling to come down. I have advocated in the Statehouse for legislative action for the utility companies to it up themselves, but these bills have been blocked from passing. This ruling is especially important given the supermajority’s push to limit the Indiana Department of Environmental Management’s ability to regulate coal ash last session, a push I vehemently opposed. I will continue to fight for green, sustainable policies that will ensure a future for generations to come.

“This effort is a significant stride in the ongoing efforts to clean up coal ash. I am celebrating the economic, environmental, and health benefits to come.”