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Two Bills Filed in Congress to Block ‘Hazardous’ Coal Ash Label

            Two bills that would prohibit the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from labeling coal ash as “hazardous waste” were filed April 6, 2011, in the U.S. House of Representatives.  The bills would not prevent EPA from improving ash disposal standards under the agency’s already proposed non-hazardous regulatory approach, which calls for the same landfill improvements and gets them implemented faster.

            The first bill – HR 1391 – was introduced by Rep. David McKinley, a Republican from West Virginia.  Entitled the “Recycling Coal Combustion Residuals Accessibility Act of 2011’’ or the ‘‘RCCRA Act of 2011,’’ the bill attracted 10 Republican and three Democrat original co-sponsors.  Rep. McKinley was the Congressman who succeeded in passing an amendment to a short-term spending bill in February that would have blocked EPA funding for regulating coal ash as a “hazardous waste.” (See here for more about that amendment: http://www.recyclingfirst.org/blog/?post=93)

            The second bill – HR 1405 – was introduced by Rep. Bob Latta, a Republican from Ohio. In his news release announcing the bill, Rep. Latta said a move to regulate coal ash as a hazardous waste would stifle the beneficial uses of recycled coal ash and would force more ash to landfills.

            Citizens for Recycling First was among more than 40 organizations and companies that endorsed Rep. McKinley’s bill before it was filed.  For a copy of Rep. McKinley’s news release that includes a list of the endorsements, click here: http://www.recyclingfirst.org/pdfs/58.pdf A copy of the complete bill is here: http://www.recyclingfirst.org/pdfs/57.pdf To see Rep. McKinley’s floor speech introducing the bill, click here: http://www.youtube.com/user/RepMcKinley?feature=mhum#p/a/u/0/_dppjSA2NLw

             The bills have been assigned to the House Energy and Commerce Committee. A subcommittee hearing to consider the bills is expected within the next several weeks.


Posted by: on: Apr 08, 2011 @ 03:09