Western Governors Speak Against Enviro Proposals for Coal Ash

            On Friday, the Western Governors’ Association became the latest organization of local and state elected officials to oppose a hazardous designation for coal ash that is being disposed.

            In a letter to President Barack Obama and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson, the governors urged the federal government not to change the regulatory status of coal ash.  The full text of the letter is reproduced below.

            The Western Governors’ Association represents the governors of 19 states and three U.S.-flag islands in the Pacific.

            Dozens of local, state and industry organizations have already spoken out against labeling coal ash as hazardous – a costly and unnecessary measure being promoted by environmental activist groups dedicated to attacking coal.  Other organizations of state and local elected officials opposing a hazardous designation include the National Governors Association, the National Conference of State Legislatures, and the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

            Here’s the letter from Western Governors:


March 5, 2010


Dear President Obama and Administrator Jackson:


On behalf of the Western Governors’ Association we are writing to urge you not to change the regulatory status of coal combustion byproducts from a solid waste to a hazardous waste.


Federal regulation of coal combustion waste as hazardous would undercut existing and effective state regulatory authority resulting in additional and unwarranted regulatory programs that would potentially add costly burdens to states’ budgets that are already significantly strained.  With appropriate guidance from EPA, all states should review their existing regulations of coal combustion byproducts and make any changes necessary in light of the 2008 TVA impoundment pond failure.


Western Governors agree with US EPA’s earlier regulatory determinations that coal combustion byproducts do not warrant regulation as hazardous waste.  We believe western states can adequately protect human health and the environment through their state solid waste, groundwater protection and coal mine regulatory programs.


We have attached our recent policy position on this matter for your information.




Brian Schweitzer

Governor of Montana



C.L. “Butch” Otter

Governor of Idaho




Governor Brian Schweitzer



Governor Butch Otter


Posted by: on: Mar 08, 2010 @ 11:21