Kentucky makes 'filthy 15' for coal ash

Kentucky comes in at No. 11 on a "Filthy 15" list of states where new power plants would produce more coal ash, an environmental group said Thursday.

The Natural Resources Defense Council said its information, drawn mostly from power plant permit applications, shows that four new plants under review in Kentucky could produce 594,000 tons of additional coal ash. No. 1 was Texas, where eight proposed plants could produce 4 million tons.

The Environmental Protection Agency announced earlier this week that it plans to create standards for regulating the ash that is left over after coal is burned to produce electricity.

The NRDC and other groups that have for years pushed for regulations on coal ash applauded the move.

"We are releasing this data to assist EPA with its regulatory efforts," said Peter Lehner, executive director of the NRDC.

A list of states and national data on coal ash can be found at

Coal ash contains toxic metals. The ponds used to dispose of it have come under increased scrutiny since December, when a dam failed at a large ash containment structure in Tennessee.