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Trump Relaxes Limits on Toxic Waste from Coal Power Plants

  • Rule allows more time to treat mercury and other heavy metals
  • Voluntary program would encourage more stringent approach
The AEP Coal-Fired John E. Amos Power Plant As EPA Reviews MATS
Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg
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The Trump administration is relaxing Obama-era requirements stemming toxic heavy metal pollution from coal-fired power plants.

Under the Environmental Protection Agency rule unveiled Monday, electricity companies would have more time and flexibility to treat power plant wastewater that contains mercury, arsenic and other toxic heavy metals. Older coal power plants that are shutting down or switching to natural gas by 2028 will also be exempted from the requirements altogether.