Federal standards for coal-ash disposal have been on hold for four years, and a federal judge on Tuesday directed the Environmental Protection Agency to finalize regulations within 60 days, The Huffington Post reports.
Despite coal ash’s toxic levels of some substances, few standards are on the books to deal with its disposal. EPA issued a draft proposal in 2009 after a Tennessee containment pond burst and leaked 1.1 billion gallons. The White House Office of Management and Budget returned the proposal to the agency with a choice between the original rules and a more state-focused plan. EPA has yet to move on either set of standards.
Tuesday’s directive to finalize rulemaking came as the result of a suit filed by environmental groups.