The rules include an extension for the closure of unlined coal ash lagoons. A recent study has shown more than 90% of these sites are leaking arsenic and other toxins at levels exceeding EPA health standards.
When it became clear that coal ash waste from a nearby power plant was making them sick, residents of one West Virginia town mobilized. But activists fear weakened regulations will make it harder for others to do the same.
The storage site is an old, depleted oil and gas formation that lies less than 2,000 beneath what will soon be an active part of a coal mine. The company failed to submit complete reports on gas wells into the site.