One year in, Trump's environmental agenda is already taking a measurable toll

A massive coal ash spill near Knoxville, Tenn., in 2008 forever changed life for Janie Clark’s family and left her husband with crippling health problems. So Clark was astounded late last year when she heard what the Environmental Protection Agency had done.

In September, at the behest of power companies, the agency shelved a requirement that coal plants remove some of the most toxic chemicals from their wastewater. The infamous Kingston power plant that released millions of cubic yards of toxic coal ash into area rivers was among some 50 plants given a reprieve.

After the EPA’s action, the plant’s owners delayed new wastewater treatment technology for at least two years.

“I couldn’t believe it,” Clark said. “It is like a slap in the face. It is like everything that has happened is just being ignored.”

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