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EPA delays rules limiting wastewater from coal power plants

CHICAGO (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency says it’s postponing portions of an Obama-era rule to curb water pollution from coal-fired power plants while it considers whether to rewrite the measure.

The rule requires steam electric power plants to control the amount of coal ash-contaminated wastewater flushed from their plants.

The water contains toxic heavy metals such as lead, arsenic and mercury, and while it’s pumped to holding ponds it often ends up in rivers and lakes. The rule sets the first specific limits on those toxins.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt says postponing the rule for two years would give utilities relief from deadlines to upgrade pollution-control equipment while the agency revisits the requirements.

Environmental groups sued over an earlier effort to postpone the rule. They say they’ll challenge this move as well.

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