The report also cited new plant projects such as the proposed Tenaska plant in Nolan County in Sweetwater. The group says the Tenaska plant would produce over 400,000 tons of additional coal waste.
Coal-fired power plants produced more than 126 million tons of contaminated coal waste in 2005, the most recent year for which data is available, according to figures reported to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. NRDC estimates show that the waste produced in a single year contains nearly 100,000 tons of toxic metals. That's just the waste from plants already in operation. But coal plant developers want to build more than 80 more coal-fired plants that would produce millions of tons of additional waste.
No federal regulations govern the storage of the coal waste, even though the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency determined as far back as 2000 that rules were needed. In alphabetical order, the states with the most coal-ash production include Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming