Residents, activists prod EPA for coal ash rules

By DYLAN LOVAN | April 18, 2012 | 2:45 PM EDT

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Environmental activists and residents who live near coal ash stockpiles say they're frustrated the federal government hasn't ruled yet on whether the waste product should be deemed hazardous.

Two years ago, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed a new regulation for the ash derived from burning coal at electric utilities. The proposal would classify it as hazardous and place restrictions on its disposal. The EPA also has said metals in coal ash can contaminate groundwater.

But two years and several public hearings later, no ruling on the regulation has been issued.

Environmental groups attempting to compel an EPA ruling sued the agency this month.

Louisville resident Kathy Little, who lives near an ash heap, is among those who says she is frustrated that the EPA hasn't yet ruled on the substance.