Coal ash measure coming up for vote

WASHINGTON – A coal ash bill sponsored by Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va., will go to vote this week in the House of Representatives.

House Resolution 2218, the Coal Residuals Reuse and Management Act, allows states to regulate coal ash with limited review by the Environmental Protection Agency, which could establish regulations in states where regulations are deficient or fail to promulgate rules.

The EPA proposes to regulate coal ash as a hazardous waste.

McKinley said it is his “signature” piece of legislation since he was elected to Congress.

McKinley said the legislation will protect jobs, the environment and public health by establishing a state-based regulatory framework for the disposal and management of coal ash. It preserves critical beneficial reuse programs by removing a hazardous waste designation and provides a practical alternative to pea’s 2010 proposal to regulate coal ash, which would put up to 300,000 jobs at risk and drive up construction costs, he said.

More than 200 organizations have supported the legislation.

“HR 2218 establishes an environmentally protective framework that includes a key role for EPA to ensure state programs are properly developed to implement CCR disposal requirements. Under H.R. 2218, the public can have confidence that the central components of an effective regulatory program will be implemented at facilities across the country,” McKinley said. “Even more important, they can have confidence that a disposal unit that does not meet environmental and safety standards will be closed. Furthermore, enactment of H.R. 2218 would resolve the longstanding regulatory uncertainty that has caused beneficial reuse of CCR to stall.”