The concentration of As, Cr and Ni and their speciation (As3+;5+, Cr3+;6+ and Ni0;2+) in milled coal, bottom ash and ash collected by electrostatic precipitator (ESP) from a coal fired-power plant in western Canada were determined using HGAAS, ICP-AES and XANES. The chemical fractionation of these elements was also determined by a sequential leaching procedure, using deionized water, NH4OAC and HCl as extracting agents. The leachate was analyzed by ICP-AES. Arsenic in the milled coal is mostly associated with organic matter, and 67% of this arsenic is removed by ammonium acetate. This element is totally removed from milled coal after extraction with HCl. Arsenic occurs in both the As3+ and the As5+ oxidation states in the milled coal, while virtually all (>90%) of the arsenic in bottom ash and fly ash appears to be in the less toxic arsenate (As5+) form. Both Ni and Cr in the milled coal are extracted by HCl, indicating that water can mobilize Ni and Cr in an acidic environment. The chromium is leached by water from fly ash as a result of the high pH of the water, which is induced during the leaching. Ammonium acetate removes Ni from bottom ash through an ion exchange process. Chromium in milled coal is present entirely as Cr3+, which is an essential human trace nutrient. The Cr speciation in bottom ash is a more accentuated version of the milled coal and consists mostly of the Cr3+ species. Chromium in fly ash is mostly Cr3+, with significant contamination by stainless-steel from the installation itself.