Another Rational Voice for Coal Ash Disposal Regulations

            Another newspaper has concluded that environmental extremism is behind the move to designate coal ash as “hazardous” when disposed.  On Saturday, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review published the editorial reprinted below.  If you’d like to read the FrontPage Magazine analysis the editorial refers to, look here:


The war on coal ash: Time for a re-think

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Saturday, February 20, 2010


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency can serve both the public need and the public good -- or let environmental extremism trump its own rules by classifying coal ash as hazardous waste.

A FrontPage Magazine ( analysis makes a compelling argument against classifying coal-fired power plants' ash as hazardous. It's an argument that makes common, scientific and economic sense.

An accidental release of ash when a Tennessee power plant's earthen retention wall failed in December 2008 led environmental groups to urge the hazardous-waste classification due to numerous toxic substances such ash contains. Yet the Electric Power Research Institute found no ash samples it analyzed using EPA methods qualified as hazardous waste under EPA rules.

Plus, coal ash is a valuable recyclable. Its use in cement, bricks, roadways and other materials saves energy and cuts "greenhouse"-gas emissions. A hazardous waste classification would end all that, driving up costs for those materials and for electricity.

The Tennessee incident does suggest a need for tougher controls on how ash is impounded -- a public need. But classifying coal ash as hazardous waste would be anything but good for power plants, manufacturers and the public.

Posted by: on: Feb 22, 2010 @ 11:36