On Wednesday, the Biden administration unveiled a proposal that could have far-reaching effects on the coal industry. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that new rules would be put in place to limit the amount of wastewater produced by coal-fired power plants.
Under the proposed rule, generators would be required to eliminate all pollution from flue gas desulfurization wastewater and bottom ash transport water. Additionally, the EPA would impose stricter limits on a range of chemical pollutants, including selenium, mercury, and arsenic.
A new rule proposed by EPA would reduce wastewater pollutants from coal-fired power plants by more than 580 million pounds a year, agency says https://t.co/IUE1WGKsCS
— APHA (@PublicHealth) March 8, 2023
While the new rules could have a significant impact on the coal industry, companies would have the option of complying by burning natural gas or shutting down coal-fired plants altogether. Some coal plant operators have already expressed a willingness to shut down their coal-fired generators, according to reports.
Despite the potential impact on the coal industry, the EPA has said that the new policy will likely only push one additional coal-fired generator offline. As the Biden administration continues to push for greater environmental protections, it remains to be seen how the coal industry will respond.