America’s ability to continue recycling coal ash is in jeopardy today for two reasons:
- In their zeal to attack coal, environmental groups and the news media have begun falsely labeling coal ash as “toxic” — despite the fact that it is no more toxic than other common materials it replaces when used as a product.
- In an effort to assert federal jurisdiction over the disposal of coal ash, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has indicated that it is considering classifying coal ash as a “hazardous waste” when destined for disposal.
The stigma created by incorrectly labeling coal ash “toxic” and “hazardous” makes people less likely to want to use the materials. It also may cause utilities to begin withholding coal ash from users because of fear of litigation by enterprising personal injury attorneys.
Dozens of elected officials, state agencies, industry groups and coal ash users have spoken out against EPA’s “hazardous waste for disposal” approach, but the agency apparently does not consider them “citizens.” In a December 2009 presentation by a senior EPA official, only environmental special interest groups were afforded the title of “citizen groups.”
Citizens for Recycling First is an organization that allows individuals to unite in:
- Supporting coal ash recycling as a safe and environmentally preferable alternative to disposal
- Telling the truth about regulations under development and their potential impact on recycling
- Assertively challenging misleading news media characterizations of coal ash