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Tr-Ash Talk: Drumbeat to Release Coal Ash Rule

Another week, another voice calling on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to release federal coal ash rules. The drumbeat is getting louder, although it feels like the calls are falling on deaf ears. In this editorial by the Knoxville News Sentinel, the Tennessee paper says the EPA’s announcement that the rule might be delayed leaves much uncertainty for industry and communities about how to handle coal ash.

Just a few weeks ago, there was news that the EPA might delay the coal ash rule until the end of 2012 or 2013. As my colleague Lisa Evans details, the rule is already 30 years overdue. Recall that, Tennessee is the site of the Dec. 22, 2008 retention pond rupture, which sent 1.1 billion gallons of coal ash slurry gushing into Kingston and surrounding communities.The editorial goes on to say:

The delay is frustrating, especially in light of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson's promise to expedite the rule-making process after the massive spill at the Kingston Fossil Plant in December 2008. The EPA put developing coal ash regulations on hold for a decade prior to the Kingston spill. Almost one year ago to the day, the agency announced it was considering two options - one that would regulate coal ash as hazardous waste and another that would continue regulating it as household garbage. The EPA has had ample time to review the technical data and entertain comment from the public.

Read the entire editorial here: