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Regarding the editorial, “Trump, ludicrously, tries to claim the environmentalist mantle. Here are the facts” (July 14): The Post-Dispatch editorial board failed to mention an issue with important local repercussions: the Trump administration’s rollback of regulations concerning coal ash ponds.

Coal ash sludge contains arsenic, lead, cadmium and mercury. According to the National Institutes of Health, exposure to lead and mercury causes neurological deficiencies in children and fetuses and cadmium can cause kidney damage. Arsenic, even at low levels, is a 072019-edt-letters1907known carcinogen.

In an effort to save money but with blatant disregard for public health, utilities store this sludge in unlined pits that often seep into groundwater. Locally, coal ash pits near Labadie have raised public concerns about drinking-water safety.

The Obama administration developed regulations that sought to phase out both unlined coal ash pits and pits that were adjacent to groundwater aquifers or other sources of drinking water. They also strengthened regulations for testing of drinking water.

The Trump administration is forcing a rollback of these important rules that would keep known carcinogens out of our drinking water. Don’t let President Trump fool you into thinking that he is a pro-environment president. Nothing could be further than the truth.

Debbie Cole • St. Louis County