Environmentalists cheer new Illinois safeguards on coal ash

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Environmentalists in Illinois are pleased with rules established for governing the toxic byproducts of burning coal. The Illinois Pollution Control Board last week approved the guidelines for detecting and cleaning up so-called coal ash contamination from groundwater. Earthjustice is one of five major environmental groups who closely participated in the rule-making. A statement from the group says the rules also make it easier for the public to have a say in opening or closing coal ash ponds. Coal ash is produced by burning coal to general electricity. Its release has created widespread groundwater contamination with harmful chemicals.