Today the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce by a vote of 35–12 approved legislation that would prohibit the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from establishing federally enforceable regulations for the disposal of coal ash. Sponsored by Rep. David McKinley (R-WV), H.R. 2273 (Coal Residuals Reuse and Management Act) leaves hundreds of communities who live near these toxic sites vulnerable to coal ash pollution, specifically in their drinking water. The bill soon will come up for a vote before the full House.
The following statement is from Earthjustice senior administrative counsel Lisa Evans:
“We knew Representative McKinley would doggedly protect his coal interests by passing this bill but we’re appalled that so many of our elected leaders have no problem endangering their constituents.
“This bill is a giveaway to coal companies to escape requirements for proper management and cleanup of hazardous waste. For communities who suffer the effects of poisoned drinking water, unstable dams and leaching coal ash sites, this is a travesty.
“Coal ash poisons drinking water with arsenic, chromium, lead, mercury and other chemicals. Our House leaders should be ashamed that they have placed their constituents and their families in harm’s way."