Rep. McKinley's Coal Ash Bill Approved by Energy & Commerce with Bipartisan Support

(McKinley.House.Gov 06-19-2013) Washington, D.C.—Today, the full Energy and Commerce Committee voted out Rep. David B. McKinley’s (R-WV) “Coal Residuals Reuse and Management Act of 2013” (H.R. 2218) by a bipartisan vote of 31 to 16.  In 2010 the EPA proposed a regulation to treat coal ash as a hazardous material. This legislation would remove the stigma associated with recycling coal ash by removing the potential for a hazardous material designation and set federal standards for disposal of coal ash for the first time.
 
“Without this legislative action, coal ash will continue to be disposed based on standards from the 1950’s and 1960’s,” said Rep. McKinley. “In some cases, the stigma imposed by the radical extremists within the environmental movement will continue, even though EPA previously conducted two separate studies in 1993 and 2000 and concluded that coal ash is not hazardous and should continue to be beneficially recycled. After 32 years of this issue lingering, it’s time we act.”
 
Coal ash is a byproduct of the coal combustion process and is used in concrete and many other products. Dozens of government and private organizations, ranging from the Environmental Council of States to labor unions, support the safe use of coal ash. If the EPA regulates coal ash as a hazardous material it would cost 316,000 jobs and increase the cost of electricity, according to a report by Veritas Economic Consulting.
 
“Simply put, this legislation helps put people back to work, gives American businesses certainty, and protects the health and environment of our families and friends,” added McKinley. McKinley’s legislation passed the House four times in 2011 and 2012 but was never taken up by the Senate.
 
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