Missouri utilities will be required to monitor groundwater near coal ash landfills, measuring for toxic pollutants from coal ash, which is the byproduct of coal burned at electric power plants. The monitoring is a key piece of new standards the Environmental Protection Agency released Friday for coal ash, which are the first national standards for the waste.
The EPA’s new regulations, which will treat coal ash more like household garbage than a hazardous material, fell short of the changes environmentalists had sought. Monitoring requirements won’t go into effect for two years. And, even then, enforcement of the rules will rely heavily on lawsuits from citizens rather than government agencies.