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Court Challenge Could Speed Clean Up Of Kentucky Coal Ash Pollution

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Environmental groups are challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s new deadlines for the closure of the country’s unlined coal ash ponds, which gave power plants an extra 18 months to close their ponds if they’re polluting groundwater. 

The pollution comes from coal ash, the waste leftover from burning coal for energy. It often includes carcinogens and neurotoxins. 

Earthjustice attorney Tom Cmar filed the petition for review in the D.C. Court of Appeals on Monday. He says the rules don’t adequately protect the public from environmental harm. 

Cmar told WFPL: "Whether it’s the steady ongoing contamination of their water resources... or it’s the longer term and larger risk of a major catastrophe happening.” 

The court challenge could affect at least 14 Kentucky power plants, all of which found contamination in a first round of testing. 

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