EPA Orders MMHF, LLC to Stop Discharging Toxic Pollutants into Oklahoma Waters
April 3, 2010
Oklahomans and a coalition of environmental groups, including Sierra Club, celebrated a big victory when, on April 27, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a cease and desist administrative order to MMHF, LLC of Bokoshe, Oklahoma, for violations of the federal Clean Water Act.
In February 2010, EPA inspected MMHF, LLC’s coal ash disposal site in LeFlore County, Oklahoma, and found an unauthorized discharge of pollutants into a tributary of Doe Creek. Coal ash is a byproduct from burning coal and contains toxins, such as lead, selenium, and mercury. It can contaminate airways, and when mixed with water, can contaminate nearby waterways. Samples of the waste stream from the MMHF, LLC site were found to be toxic and in violation of Oklahoma water quality standards. Based on these findings, EPA has ordered MMHF, LLC to immediately eliminate the unauthorized discharge of toxic waste, and within 30 days document and describe the corrective actions and provide a plan for future waste management.
Since February 2009, Sierra Club has worked with and supported the efforts of B.E. Cause, the Center for Energy Matters and local citizens to demand proper regulation of fly ash by both state agencies and EPA. This latest order by EPA is another significant step toward protecting the health of Oklahomans and the environment from the damage caused by fly ash.
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