Coal combustion produces smog, soot, acid rain, and the neurotoxin mercury – making them a leading cause of public health concerns in some communities. Coal plants are also the largest single source of carbon dioxide pollution, a leading cause of climate change.

Coal energy also creates a number of water pollution problems. Coal combustion leaves behind dangerous ash that can contaminate groundwater, and coal mining involves the use of dangerous chemicals that can wash into surface waters.

The risks of coal are too many and the costs to the public health too high for us to continue to allow coal plant operators to profit at our expense. The time has come for coal plant operators to make a choice between shutting down their plants or bringing them up to modern pollution control standards that protect public health and the environment.

What is ELPC Doing?

ELPC works throughout the Midwest to clean up old, dirty coal plants, prevent the building of unnecessary new plants, and make sure coal mines don’t skirt clean water standards.

Our multi-disciplinary teams of attorneys, policy experts, financial analysts and communications specialists work together with grassroots coalitions to put together multi-pronged fights against very old, very dirty coal plants that are detrimental to the local community’s public health and financial well-being. Our goal is to ensure that long-adopted Clean Air Act standards are actually enforced, rather than deferred indefinitely, by the coal industry that has had decades to comply with modern pollution control expectations.

ELPC’s financial analysis and political savvy are also crucial tools in efforts to deter the building of completely unnecessary new coal plants that often come at a very high price to local consumers and provide power that is no longer needed as energy efficiency measures take hold and more wind and solar power come online.

Finally, our clean water attorneys are engaged in groundbreaking work to fight back against mine operators with chronic violations of the Clean Water Act spanning many years.


We must hold these polluters accountable to the law and send the right economic signals that they have to clean up or miss out.

ELPC’s Founding Vision is Becoming Today’s Sustainability Reality

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