House Approves Amendment Protecting Coal Ash Recycling

            The U.S. House of Representatives voted early this morning – February 19, 2011 – to cut off funding for any Environmental Protection Agency actions aimed at labeling coal ash a “hazardous waste” when it is disposed.

            House members voted 239-183 to accept an amendment offered by West Virginia Rep. David McKinley.  Nineteen Democrats were among the Members of Congress voting yes.

            The amendment is now part of a bill extending the federal budget through the end of the fiscal year in September.  The budget extending bill will need to be taken up by the Senate and ultimately signed by the president before it becomes law.

            Dozens of House members have previously signed letters to the Administrator of EPA, urging her not to regulate coal ash disposal as a hazardous waste because of the significant potential for damaging recycling of the resource.  This action by the House confirms that Congress has serious objections to one of the approaches EPA has proposed for regulating coal ash disposal landfills and impoundments.  Those objections are clearly bipartisan – with both Republicans and Democrats voting to avoid an unnecessary and damaging “hazardous waste” designation.

            The House amendment that was approved does not prevent EPA from moving forward with enacting stronger coal ash disposal standards.  The landfill engineering standards contained in EPA’s “non-hazardous” proposal are the same as those proposed in the “hazardous” approach.  The House left funding for proceeding with new regulations in place for the non-hazardous approach.

            For more information about the amendment, click here: To see examples of previous letters from Congress to the EPA on this subject, click here:

Posted by: on: Feb 19, 2011 @ 02:56