Oklahoma could soon become the first state to operate a permit program for disposing of coal ash.

EPA Administrator and former Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt approved an application on Monday allowing the ash to be placed in landfills.

The Department of Environmental Quality will oversee rules and regulations for the disposal of the coal ash.

Some in favor of the change say it will be beneficial to rural co-ops, but environmental groups say the coal ash could expose people to toxic heavy metals, like arsenic and lead.

However, the current disposal methods have been blamed for exposure to toxins for years.

Some of these health hazards and disposal methods were reported in October of 2010:  Oklahoma Fails Small Town In Fly Ash Regulation.