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Fri Dec 19, 2014, 09:33 PM

Coal Ash Is Not Hazardous Waste under U.S. Agency Rules

By Jonathan Kaminsky

Dec 19 (Reuters) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued rules on Friday labeling coal ash, a byproduct of coal-based power production containing toxic materials such as arsenic and lead, as non-hazardous waste.

The label means that states, and not the EPA, will be the primary enforcers of the new rules, which will require the closure of some coal ash holding ponds leaking contaminants into surrounding water.

"This rule is a huge step forward in our effort to protect communities from coal ash storage impoundment failures as well as the improper management and disposal of coal ash in general," said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, speaking on a conference call with reporters.

The agency first proposed rules governing coal ash storage in 2010, in the wake of a massive spill at a ruptured holding pond in Tennessee that has cost more than $1 billion to clean up.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/coal-ash-is-not-hazardous-waste-under-u-s-agency-rules1/

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Reply Coal Ash Is Not Hazardous Waste under U.S. Agency Rules (Original post)
n2doc Dec 2014 OP
GeorgeGist Dec 2014 #1
Divernan Dec 2014 #2

Response to n2doc (Original post)

Fri Dec 19, 2014, 09:54 PM

1. Why is this good news?

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Fri Dec 19, 2014, 09:55 PM

2. So the states try to enforce new rules & Big Coal takes it to the pro-corporate USSC

Am I missing something here? How the HELL can the EPA say this is a step forward? By stating arsenic and lead are non-hazardous wastes, it is leaving an open invitation to Big Coal to challenge any state claiming otherwise. Further, since coal ash travels across state lines via wind and water, it obviously creates interstate situations requiring federal regulatory oversight and enforcement.

More from the link:
The agency first proposed rules governing coal ash storage in 2010, in the wake of a massive spill at a ruptured holding pond in Tennessee that has cost more than $1 billion to clean up.

Environmental groups expressed disappointment with the long-anticipated rules, saying they did not go far enough in protecting the environment and human health in areas where coal ash is stored.

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