Top Ten Things You Need to Know About Coal Ash Recycling

            Today marks three months since Citizens for Recycling First was formed.  If you haven’t had a chance to read every blog post, here’s a handy guide to some of the most important topics:

10. Nobody’s been hurt at that golf course 60 Minutes made a big deal about.  We don’t say so.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency does.  Read about it here:

9. That big coal ash spill in Tennessee also has not endangered human health.  That’s the conclusion of the Tennessee Department of Health and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  Look here for more:

8. Anti-coal environmental activists started calling for federal regulation of coal ash disposal everywhere after a disposal unit failed at, you guessed it, a federally owned facility. Look here for more discussion of the topic: Look here for a definition of “ironic”:

7. The same environmentalists frequently misuse statistics to scare people into thinking coal ash is more dangerous than it is.  Here’s a debunking of one of their favorite statistics: Here’s an explanation of how they change tests to get the results they’re looking for: This one shows how they misinterpreted government rankings of how dangerous disposal facilities are:    (If you’d like information on how toxic coal ash really is, look here: Or look here for a comparison of coal ash to your household trash:

6. The people who really would like to see coal ash disposal regulated as “hazardous” are personal injury lawyers.  They’re already plotting.  See here:

5. Anti-coal environmental activists like to imply that “big industry” is exerting undue influence behind closed doors in Washington.  The truth is that the environmental groups themselves are larger than many of the recycling businesses endangered by their antics and that the environmental groups have met with agencies of the government just as much or more than “industry” has.  See here: and here:

4. The same environmentalists like to make it sound like industry is trying to evade regulation.  Also blatantly false.  See here for evidence that utilities, recyclers and others support federal regulation of coal ash disposal:  What they oppose is an unjustified, unnecessary and harmful designation of coal ash as “hazardous” when it is disposed.

3. Anti-coal environmental activists occasionally give lip service to the benefits of recycling coal ash, but their actions never amount to actual support.  See here: The fact is, they don’t really appear to care about doing what’s best for the environment as long as they are fixated on bashing coal:

2. You can’t call coal ash “hazardous” when it’s disposed and expect people to keep using it when it’s recycled.  See here: Plus, remember that the only people who seem to think that a “hazardous” designation won’t harm recycling efforts are the anti-coal environmental activists.  Everyone else – including local, state, and federal agencies and elected officials, coal ash recyclers and users, professional societies and standards setters, and many more – say differently.  To see dozens of letters from these individuals and groups, look here:  

            And the most important thing to remember about coal ash recycling is:

1. Coal ash recycling deserves protecting and encouraging.  Significant environmental, economic and social benefits are realized every year from what has become one of America’s greatest recycling success stories. We should not jeopardize this success.  Coal ash disposal regulations can be improved without damaging recycling efforts.  Safely recycling coal ash should become the preferred alternative to disposal.

Posted by: on: May 01, 2010 @ 11:21