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EPA, USDA Push Farmers to Use Coal Waste on Fields

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EPA, USDA Push Farmers to Use Coal Waste on Fields

Rick Callahan

INDIANAPOLIS - The federal government is encouraging farmers to spread a chalky waste from coal-fired power plants on their fields to loosen and fertilize soil even as it considers regulating coal wastes for the first time.

The material is produced by power plant "scrubbers" that remove acid rain causing sulfur dioxide from plant emissions. A synthetic form of the mineral gypsum, it also contains mercury, arsenic, lead and other heavy metals.

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