U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy is holding a hearing today to review a bill that would eliminate any requirement to update federal waste disposal regulations, including regulations that are long overdue for coal ash, one of the largest industrial waste streams in the country.
In 2008, one billion gallons of toxic coal ash spilled from the Tennessee Valley Authority's Kingston Fossil Plant. (TVA)
The bill would eliminate a longstanding requirement for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to review regulations and determine whether revisions are necessary. These 37-year-old requirements have never been controversial, but this bill is aimed at removing the basis for a trio of industry and conservation group lawsuits that are seeking to compel action by EPA on coal ash regulation.
The following statement is from Earthjustice attorney Abigail Dillen, who is testifying at the hearing:
“This sole intent of this bill is to derail lawsuits that were filed by the conservation community and coal ash recycling industry to compel action on critically needed regulation of coal ash.
“Delay is creating uncertainty for industry and hurting the many communities across the country that are contending with water contamination, fugitive ash dust, and the risk of catastrophic collapse of ash impoundments in the absence of effective safeguards.
“It’s wrong to change a system that has been working for decades to target a single court case, and it’s worse still to postpone a solution to our national coal ash problem.”
Raviya Ismail, Earthjustice, (202) 400-1592
Earthjustice is the premier nonprofit environmental law organization. We wield the power of law and the strength of partnership to protect people’s health, to preserve magnificent places and wildlife, to advance clean energy, and to combat climate change. We are here because the earth needs a good lawyer.