Fact and Fiction of Environmental Activist Rhetoric

            The past two “Ash Blogs” have pointed out how environmental groups use inaccurate emotional rhetoric to frighten people about coal ash. Here are a few more fictions being spun by the activist group Earthjustice as it urges people to contact the president and demand hazardous waste regulations for coal ash:

Earthjustice: “Coal and power industry lobbyists are… using power and influence to misinform and misguide federal regulators.”

Fact: Coal and power interests are only two of the industries that have voiced concern about EPA’s apparent intention to label coal ash as hazardous.  They’ve been joined by dozens of local, state and federal elected officials, state environmental regulators, state departments of transportation, public service commissions, coal ash marketers and users, professional engineering societies, labor unions, and more.

Earthjustice: “They are spreading rumors and false information about coal ash that is impeding the EPA's ability to regulate this hazardous material.”

Fact: Earthjustice doesn’t specify what the “rumors and false information” are.  Nor do they point out that EPA has studied coal ash for more than three decades and has issued at least four previous Reports to Congress and Regulatory Determinations concluding that hazardous waste regulation is not warranted.

Earthjustice: “The EPA said there are at least 48 other coal ash sites that could pose a similar threat of catastrophic collapse, potentially involving loss of life.”

Fact: EPA has said that NONE of the 83 coal ash impoundments it has inspected pose an immediate safety threat.  (See Ash Blog for February 10, 2010.)

Earthjustice: “Communities across the country want strong regulations that designate coal ash as hazardous waste.”

Fact: Almost every state and local agency that has written to EPA about this issue has specifically OPPOSED a hazardous waste designation because it is unnecessary, costly, and likely to harm the ability to continue recycling coal ash in ways that significantly benefit the environment.

Who’s spreading rumors and false information now?

Posted by: on: Feb 16, 2010 @ 10:28