Lawmakers Plan Bill Giving EPA "Solid Waste" CCR Enforcement Authority

(Inside EPA 7-22-2010) House lawmakers are poised to introduce a bill that would give EPA first-time authority to enforce solid waste rules for coal combustion residues (CCR) in an effort to reach a compromise with the agency to avoid more stringent hazardous waste CCR rules, which industry says would obliterate the coal ash recycling industry. 
 
Rep. Heath Shuler (D-NC), the chairmen of the House small business committee's rural development panel, said at a July 22 hearing on the issue that he and other lawmakers are developing legislation to give EPA authority to enforce CCR rules under subtitle D of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). 
 
The bill, if passed, could help avoid a showdown between industry and EPA over how to regulate CCR, though it could be opposed by environmentalists who favor regulating CCR under stricter subtitle C hazardous waste requirements. 
 
In the wake of the massive 2008 Tennessee Valley Authority coal ash spill, EPA decided to regulate CCR and is taking comment on a June 21 proposal to either regulate disposal coal ash as a solid waste under subtitle D or as a "special waste" under more-stringent subtitle C rules for hazardous waste. Neither proposal would regulate ash if it is recycled. EPA is taking comment on the proposal until Sept. 20.
 
Industry is pushing EPA to regulate CCR under less-stringent D solid waste rules - - which states would oversee because they say subtitle C hazardous waste rules would stigmatize coal ash and damage the CCR recycling industry, which uses the ash in concrete and other building materials. 
 
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