A clean water environmental group said groundwater contamination was discovered near several coal ash power plants in Illinois.
The Prairie Rivers Network analyzed data released March 2 by Illinois coal-fired power companies and said several were in violation of Illinois EPA standards and/or U.S. EPA standards for antimony, chromium, lead, arsenic, and thallium.
Arsenic levels of 500 parts per billion were found at the Powerton power plant in Pekin, more than twice the Illinois groundwater standard. Lead of 340 parts per billion was found at Duck Creek Power Station in Canton, or more than three times the Illinois groundwater standard.
Arsenic was found above the drinking water standard at 14 of the 17 sites across Illinois which posted arsenic data.
“Dynegy, NRG, and other owners of coal ash are required by the EPA to test the groundwater under their coal ash impoundments and report their findings,” said Andrew Rehn, PRN Water Resources Engineer. “These data clearly indicate that these companies are polluting area groundwaters. Contamination was particularly high in unlined impoundments where groundwater can flow through the coal ash. To think that in some cases these companies plan to leave these impoundments capped in place in contact with groundwater forever is ridiculous.”
Additional details on the violations compiled by PRN can be found here.