EPA Wants ‘Strong State Partnerships.’ Here’s a Good Place to Start.

One of seven “key themes” established by EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson is “Building Strong State and Tribal Partnerships.”  Now she has an opportunity to make good on that theme by listening to what the states are saying about coal ash disposal.

This week, the Environmental Council of the States (ECOS) reiterated its opposition to proposals to designate coal ash destined for disposal as “hazardous waste.”  In a resolution passed by ECOS, the states said “the adoption and implementation of a federal (coal ash) regulatory program would create an additional level of oversight that is not warranted…”   

The Resolution acknowledges a coal ash rulemaking effort now under way at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and states that “if U.S. EPA promulgates a federal regulatory program for state (coal ash) waste management programs, the regulations must be developed under RCRA Subtitle D rather than RCRA Subtitle C.” In addition to opposing hazardous waste regulations as unnecessary to ensure the proper management of coal ash, ECOS confirms its position that “designating (coal ash) a hazardous waste under RCRA Subtitle C could create stigma and liability concerns that could impact the beneficial use of coal ash.”

            ECOS is the national non-profit, non-partisan association of state and territorial environmental agency leaders. ECOS was established in 1993 for the purpose of improving the capability of state environmental agencies and their leaders to protect and improve human health and the environment of the United States.

            In addition to ECOS, dozens of individual state environmental regulatory agencies have spoken out in opposition to any form of “hazardous” designation for coal ash.  Copies of those letters can be found on the Citizens for Recycling First web site under the “More Info” tab.

Posted by: on: Mar 26, 2010 @ 08:26