Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, released a statement today on the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) release of a proposed regulation covering disposal and management of coal ash from coal-fired power plants.
"Ensuring the safe disposal and management of coal ash is a job that states have performed responsibly and effectively for years," Sen. Inhofe said. "The Obama EPA has proposed regulations that could prove unworkable, and even environmentally counterproductive. For example, by using coal ash to make roads and highways more durable, we avoid sending coal ash to landfills. This is one of the many ways coal ash is used for beneficial purposes. Yet EPA's proposed regulatory options for coal ash could restrict, or even prevent altogether, its various beneficial uses. And what EPA has proposed will certainly mean more jobs destroyed and higher electricity prices for consumers, especially those from regions that rely heavily on coal."
The proposed rule contains two separate options for regulating coal ash. A 90 day comment period is next, followed by the time it takes for EPA to read through and respond to the comments. After that EPA will chose one of the two options. The first option is to have EPA regulate coal ash as a hazardous waste under subtitle C of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, RCRA. The second option is to regulate coal ash under subtitle D of RCRA coupled with enforcement through a citizen's suit provision.