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Green groups are suing the Environmental Protection Agency to force completion of long-planned national regulations to govern disposal of so-called coal ash, a waste product from power plants.

“In the absence of national standards requiring safe disposal, coal ash has been dumped in thousands of unlined and unmonitored ponds, landfills, pits and mines. The result has been the widespread release of hazardous pollutants from coal ash to water, air and soil, endangering human health and the environment,” states the lawsuit the groups are filing Thursday.

Nearly a dozen groups filed the suit including the Sierra Club, Appalachian Voices, the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, the Environmental Integrity Project and others.

The groups, who filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, say EPA is violating the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) by failing to updates its regulations.

The complaint says the waste streams contain “large quantities” of arsenic, lead, mercury and other toxins linked to neurological, developmental and other health problems.

EPA floated draft rules almost two years ago laying out options for regulation of the wastes.

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