EPA Finally Agrees to Regulate Coal Ash

Sunday, February 02, 2014
Coal ash spill in Tennessee

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has agreed for the first time to regulate the disposal of coal ash, but only because environmentalists and others sued the agency to finally take action.

 

To settle a lawsuit (pdf) brought by Earthjustice on behalf of multiple groups, including Appalachian Voices, Sierra Club, and 10 other organizations, the EPA announced it would establish the first-ever federal regulations for coal-ash disposal by December 19.

 

It did not say what the new rules would contain.

 

The decision follows a ruling in October by a federal court in Washington, DC, that said the EPA was bound by law to create the waste regulations, which it started to do years ago but never finished.

 

In 2008, a mammoth spill in Kingston, Tennessee, released more than a billion gallons of coal ash, damaging or destroying two dozen homes and 300 acres of riverfront property.

 

Following this disaster, then-EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson promised to establish new federal regulations for coal ash. The agency drafted the rules and held several public hearings by 2010. But nothing more followed until the plaintiffs took the agency to court. During that period of delay, coal ash contamination occurred at more than 200 sites across the country, amounting to 136 million tons of industrial waste per year.

 

One group participating in the case, the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP), said the new rules were long overdue.

 

“It’s really good news we’ll have a final rule by the end of this year after waiting for so long for action from EPA,” Lisa Widawsky-Hallowell of EIP told the Center for Public Integrity.

“The patchwork of state regulations has not done enough to protect the environment or human health,” she added. “Now, we need EPA to issue a final rule that protects the communities.”

-Noel Brinkerhoff

 

To Learn More:

EPA Agrees To Deadline For First-Ever US Coal Ash Regulations (Appalachian Voices)

EPA to Regulate Coal Ash Amid Court Settlement (by Kristen Lombardi, Center for Public Integrity)

Appalachian Voices v. Gina McCarthy (U.S. District Court, District of Columbia) (pdf)

Coal Combustion Residuals - Proposed Rule (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)

Judge Tries to Force EPA to Regulate Coal Ash (by Matt Bewig, AllGov)

Exasperated by EPA Inaction, Residents near Coal Ash Dumps File Lawsuits (by Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky, AllGov)

EPA Sued over Refusal to Regulate Coal Ash (by Matt Bewig, AllGov)

Comments

ANON 2 years ago
Hey, why not the EPA Super Funds to clean up all of the USA Coal Ash, Sewage Ash, Old garbage dumps, low level radioactive materials etc. using Portable Plasma Arc Systems - Pyro-Genesis Canada has such a system and it actually produces electrical power, synfuel and construction materials refer to their PDF presentation at http://e2s2.ndia.org/schedule/Documents/2012%20Abstracts/Breakout%20Sessions/14451.pdf also, Arc Southern Energy LLC at http://www.arcsouthern.com/waste_to_enegry.asp has a portable Plasma Arc Power Plant which can run off of coal ash, sewage ash and garbage for $7 million each. and Coal Ash can actually be used fuel for a Plasma Arc Power Plant. It should be mandated by state legislatures to build Portable Plasma Arc Power Plants to use up and eliminate this Coal Ash Waste. Also, Georgia Tech and CERL are the American Pioneers in this Technology - http://www.cecer.army.mil POC: Dr. Ed Smith Commercial 217-373-3488 or 800-usa-cerl - Georgia Tech POC: DR. Louie J. Circeo Comm 404-894-2070 or Construction Research Center (CRC), Georgia Institute of Tech, Atlanta, GA 30332-0159. This is proven technology which has been used by Japan since the 1990s with the contrustion of over 20 plants. and... re-open this old coal fired power plant refer to "How to Use Existing Coal Power Plants w/o modifications" http://www.biofuelsdigest.com/bdigest/2010/03/22/frances-thermya-announces-new-torrefaction-process-to-produce-biocoal/ and http://www1.eere.energy.gov/femp/pdfs/webinar_082609_introre.pdf conversion of old coal fired power plants

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