On Sept. 13, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that it would side with electric utilities by postponing the implementation of portions of a water safety rule by two years while it reconsiders the regulations.
The 2015 Obama-era rule, which established limits on wastewater pollution from coal-fired power plants, was set to take effect in 2018. The water pollution standards would have prevented power plants from annually releasing 1.4 billion pounds of heavy metals such as arsenic, mercury and lead, which are linked to increased rates of heart disease, cancer and stroke.
Environmental groups sued the EPA after it tried to delay implementation of the rule in April and will sue over this action too, according to the Washington Post. While the rule is being litigated, less protective standards from 1982 will remain in effect. — Elizabeth E. Payne