Coal / Coal Ash / Energy

Coal ash bills could undercut regulations

Earthjustice attorney Lisa Evans

WASHINGTON D.C. — “A congressional effort to rein in federal regulation of coal ash could result in  little or no regulation at all, a new report from the Congressional Research  Service warns.

The bills, H.R. 2273 and S. 3512, would set up a plan for states to regulate  coal ash like landfill waste — pre-empting an Environmental Protection Agency  proposal to designate the often toxic combustion byproducts as hazardous waste.  But the proposals’ vague language would make it difficult to tell if states are  correctly implementing their own programs, says the report, which the green  group Earthjustice made public Monday.

Among other fuzziness, the bills leave unclear ‘key issues such as how, when or  to which facilities the [state] permit program would apply,’ the report says. ‘That level of uncertainty defeats the purpose of a permit program,’ it adds.”

— Erica Martinson, Politico

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