31 Members Demand Answers on Coal Ash from EPA
Congressman Gerry Conolly (D-VA) joined Reps. Steve Cohen (D-TN), Bobby Rush (D-IL), John Sarbanes (D-MD), and David Price (D-NC) in writing a letter to the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Andrew Wheeler, regarding an EPA proposal to continue to weaken safeguards for coal ash piles. The letter, which was signed by more than 27 Members of Congress, expresses concerns regarding unsafe coal ash disposal and demands answers as to why the EPA has begun to weaken several critical health and environmental protections for the disposal of coal ash, rather than protect the health of communities near the hundreds of contaminated sites identified by the industry’s own monitoring data. This letter urges the EPA to immediately refrain from efforts to roll back the Coal Ash rule and instead make good on its promise to expeditiously complete new rulemakings that would strengthen the rule, as required by the D.C. Circuit Court.
The letter reads in part:
“Electric utilities have been getting away with dangerous dumping of toxic coal ash for more than a century. Fortunately, in 2015, the EPA established the first-ever standards for the disposal of coal ash. The federal Coal Ash Rule requires critical safeguards, including groundwater monitoring, the shutdown of leaking dumps and dumps in dangerous locations, the cleanup of contaminated water, and safe closure…
“We urge the EPA to protect the health of communities near the hundreds of contaminated sites identified by the industry’s own monitoring data. Vulnerable communities are living with the devastating impacts of coal ash contamination every day, and we expect the EPA to live up to its statutory duty to protect human health and the environment from this toxic waste."
The letter was also signed by Reps. Alan Lowenthal (CA-47), Darren Soto (FL-09), Peter DeFazio (OR-04), Nydia Velazquez (NY-07), Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), Donald Payne (NJ-10), Betty McCollum (MN-04), Raul Grijalva (AZ-03), Sean Casten (IL-06), Danny Davis (IL-07), Hank Johnson (GA-04), Elijah Cummings (MD-07), Nannette Barragan (CA-44), Ro Khanna (CA-17), Donald Beyer (VA-08), Anna Eshoo (CA-18), Jamie Raskin (MD-08), Andre Carson (IN-07), Bill Foster (IL-11), Lisa Blunt Rochester (DE- at large), Tony Cardenas (CA-29) Barbara Lee (CA-13), Jennifer Wexton (VA-10), Jim Cooper (TN-05), Diana DeGette (CO-01) and Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton of the District of Columbia.
The full letter can be found here.