Even the cows have cancer: EPA weighs tougher regulation of toxic coal ash

Arrowhead Landfill in Perry County, AL

NEW YORK, NY — “Elisa Young says she has lost at least six neighbors to cancer in the last ten years. ‘I’ve lost neighbors to lung cancer who have never smoked,” she said. “I’ve lost them to brain cancer, breast, throat, colon, multiple myeloma, pre-leukemia. When my son, who’s in his 20s, came home to visit, he said, ‘Mom, is it normal for your mouth to taste like metal?’ We pulled over and he coughed until he got sick.’

Young has no doubt about what she believes is causing all the cancer: coal. For the past 10 years she’s lived in Meigs County, Ohio, the center of the second largest concentration of coal plants in the nation, and has become an environmental activist…

In October of 2009, the EPA finally re-evaluated the dangers of toxic coal ash and proposed new rules to regulate coal waste disposal, but the proposed regulations have been stalled for five months at the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, headed by Cass Sunstein. During their deliberations over the past few months, Sunstein’s staff has met with representatives of the coal and fly ash industries approximately 35 times, but has only met with a handful of citizens personally affected by coal ash. According to a press release issued by Ohio Citizen Action last week, Sunstein has not made any public trips to see the real-life effects of coal ash on some of America’s poorest communities.”

— Laura Bassett,Huffington Post

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