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EPA to rewrite limits for coal power plant wastewater

Would allow utilities to flush wastewater containing traces of highly toxic heavy metals into lakes and rivers.


WASHINGTON — The Environmental Protection Agency says it plans to scrap an Obama-era measure limiting water pollution from coal-fired power plants.

A letter from EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt released as part of a legal appeal says he will seek to revise the 2015 guidelines mandating increased treatment for wastewater from steam electric power-generating plants.

Pruitt first moved in April to delay implementation of the new guidelines. The wastewater flushed from the coal-fired plants into rivers and lakes typically contains traces of such highly toxic heavy metals as lead, arsenic, mercury and selenium.

Pruitt was acting at the behest of electric utilities that petitioned him earlier this year to redraft the rule, which they claim is too costly and burdensome. Environmental groups have sued to challenge Pruitt’s rollback of the rules.

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