3 fly ash sites leaking chromium into waters

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Three fly ash disposal sites in Pennsylvania, including two in the southwest part of the state, are leaking toxic, cancer-causing hexavalent chromium into nearby groundwater, according to a new report by Earth Justice and two other environmental groups.

The report, released today on the eve of scheduled Senate testimony by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson about the hazards o hexavalent chromium exposure, uses EPA records to identify where the toxic chemical has leached from 28 coal ash disposal sites, contaminating groundwater in 17 states.

Hexavalent chromium has leaked from and contamination of groundwater near a landfill used by Allegheny Energy's Hatfield Ferry power plant in Greene County, an unlined pond and landfill near the GenOn's Seward Power plant in New Florence, Indiana County, and from an unlined pond used for fly ash disposal by PPL's Martins Creek power plant in Northampton County, in the eastern end of the state.

Studies by the EPA, the state of California and the agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry have found that exposure to small amounts of hexavalent chromium can increase human cancer risk.

More details in tomorrow's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Don Hopey: dhopey@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1983.


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