On August 8, 2013, the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) issued a report discussing EPA's identification of 18 additional coal combustion residual (CCR) sites that have contaminated groundwater or surface water. The Final Determination of Identified Proven Damage and Recently Alleged Damage Cases is provided as supporting material in the power plant effluent limitations guidelines rulemaking docket. The additional 18 CCR sites brings the total number of sites that EPA has identified as causing off-site contamination to 38 so-called "proven damage cases." EPA identifies a CCR site as a proven damage case where:

  • CCR contaminants above primary federal drinking water or other health-based standards have migrated to an extent that could cause human health concerns;
  • A scientific study that documents evidence of another type of damage to human health or the environment, such as ecological damage; and/or
  • An administrative ruling or court decision has explicitly found specific damage to human health or the environment.

EPA also identified 49 CCR sites as potential damage cases, which are cases where exceedances of primary drinking water or other health-based standards has not migrated off-site, or, there are on-site or off-site exceedances of secondary drinking water or other health-based standards. Three of the new sites identified by EPA are already subject to pending state or federal litigation by environmental organizations and citizen groups. The EIP report calls for strong federal standards governing CCR disposal given EPA's identification of these additional contaminated sites.