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McKinley Bill Slashes Protections Against Coal Ash Hazards
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2012

Our legislators are hard at work, trying to poison as many West Virginians as they can!

Legislation to block EPA rules that would limit hazardous disposal of coal ash passed the US House of Representatives in October. The bill was sponsored by WV Congressman David McKinley.
 
After a disastrous spill of coal ash in Tennessee in 2008, EPA began developing rules to provide strong federal enforcement over disposal of coal ash. Hundreds of thousands of people commented to EPA in 2010, overwhelmingly calling for strict enforcement and tough standards. But the McKinley bill overturns that public involvement and allows utilities to continue dumping coal ash in landfills without adequate leachate collection, ground water monitoring, or other environmental safeguards.
 
The EPA rules would label coal ash as a hazardous waste because, well, it is hazardous. Although it was thought to be relatively innocuous for many years, we now know that coal ash leaches arsenic, selenium, and other hazardous materials into water. Industry claims that designating coal ash as “hazardous” would create a “stigma” and inhibit “recycling” of coal ash into other products. But the EPA rules specifically exempt recycled products such as concrete or wallboard that do not create a hazard. And the lack of federal oversight means that the majority of coal ash is dumped in landfills because it is easier and cheaper than recycling it into safe products.
 
Now Senator Manchin has introduced a companion bill in the US Senate. For those who live in the shadow of ash impoundments, the Manchin/Mckinley bill is a serious threat to their health and their property.
 
What You Can Do:

Contact Senator Manchin and ask him to support strong federal regulation of coal ash disposal. Let him know that coal ash recycling and protecting health are compatible, but that his bill actually threatens both.

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