House Passes Bill to Force EPA to Regulate Coal Ash under Subtitle D

Date: October 14, 2011

Source: News Room

House Republicans passed a bill that would force EPA to regulate coal ash as a Subtitle D waste, which gives the states, not the EPA, ultimate regulatory oversight. The bill was designed to prevent EPA from regulating coal ash as a Subtitle C or hazardous waste as it has proposed to do under certain conditions. Industry, lawmakers and the states have criticized that approach which the argue would lead to much higher costs on the power industry and consumers and decimate the beneficial reuse of the material in cement, gypsum and other products by creating a “stigma” on the material by raising liability concerns. This latest bill (H.R. 2273) was sponsored by Rep. David McKinley (R-WV) and passed the House 267-144. A similar measure aimed at clipping EPA’s wings passed earlier this month which would limit EPA’s regulation of emissions from boilers and kilns.

Under H.R. 2273, states would have to regulate coal as they do ordinary municipal solid waste which would require its disposal in lined landfills with safeguards and monitoring to prevent groundwater contamination.

Rep. McKinley said his legislation was “a jobs bill and a public health bill; protecting the livelihoods and the health of our working men and women are not mutually exclusive ideas.” His office noted that, unlike the other Republican-sponsored EPA bills, the White House has not issued a veto threat and that it has the support of at least 14 Senate Democrats.

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