Electric Power Sector Reaction to EPA Proposed Coal Ash Regulations

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The U.S. electric power sector supports federal regulation of coal ash as a non-hazardous waste, coupled with new federal impoundment safety standards. This approach will protect public health and the environment, without damaging beneficial use of coal combustion byproducts.

Following is a statement released today by Jim Roewer, executive director of the Utility Solid Waste Activities Group (USWAG), on the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal to regulate electric utility coal combustion byproducts.

USWAG is an association of approximately 110 utility operating companies, the Edison Electric Institute, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, and the American Public Power Association. USWAG addresses solid and hazardous waste issues on behalf of the U.S. electric power industry.

“While we’re pleased that EPA is keeping an open mind with respect to regulation, we believe there’s only one prudent course of action—federal regulation of coal ash as a non-hazardous waste, coupled with new federal impoundment safety standards. This approach will protect public health and the environment, without damaging beneficial use of coal combustion byproducts.

“Regulation as a non-hazardous waste is supported by years of study, steady improvements in state management of coal ash, and recommendations from state regulatory and environmental officials and numerous governors, mayors and members of Congress. Adoption of more stringent regulation—including regulating coal combustion byproducts as hazardous waste or mandating closure of certain types of ash management facilities—will drive up costs for our customers without providing a commensurate health or environmental benefit.”

For more information:
Jim Roewer, USWAG
(202) 262-2711

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