Trump administration relaxes rules on coal pollution

Environmental groups say relaxing of the rule will allow more dumping of dangerous heavy metals from coal plants. (Image source: MGN)

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Trump administration is proposing easing more Obama-era protections on contaminants from coal-fired power plants.

Environmental Protection Agency administrator Andrew Wheeler signed a proposal Monday overhauling a 2015 rule on release of contaminated wastewater from power plants.

The EPA says the change will save $175 million annually in compliance costs.

Environmental groups say relaxing of the rule will allow more dumping of dangerous heavy metals from coal plants.

It's the latest Trump administration regulatory rollback for U.S. coal and coal-fired power plants. The U.S. coal industry is suffering in market competition against cheaper natural gas and renewables, and has sought a series of regulatory breaks.

Another proposal due out shortly is expected to extend some deadlines for closing unlined coal dumps near groundwater.