Pressure on coal-plants to clean-up their air pollution act is simply pushing the pollution from our air into our water, as this in-depth investigative piece by the New York Times reveals.
In addition to shattering the myth of “clean coal”, this story undermines, albeit indirectly, the notion that coal-produced electricity is cheap. In fact, the environmental costs it sows are high, along with the health costs — and both of these imply economic costs as well.
Here’s a the lead-in to the story:
“Even as a growing number of coal-burning power plants around the nation have moved to reduce their air emissions, many of them are creating another problem: water pollution. Power plants are the nation’s biggest producer of toxic waste, surpassing industries like plastic and paint manufacturing and chemical plants, according to a New York Times analysis of Environmental Protection Agency data.
Much power plant waste once went into the sky, but because of toughened air pollution laws, it now often goes into lakes and rivers, or into landfills that have leaked into nearby groundwater, say regulators and environmentalists.”