Update on Coal Ash Legislation - July 17, 2015

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has agreed to let the Coal Ash bill be considered on the full House floor next week.  H.R. 1734, the Improving Coal Combustion Residuals Regulation Act of 2015, stalled for a bit in the U.S. House of Representatives due to differences of opinion on the recent trade vote.  Representative McKinley (R-WV) introduced the measure earlier this year.  Consideration of the legislation follows a hearing held on March 18, 2015 in the Energy and Power Subcommittee, before it advanced to the Energy and Commerce committee for consideration on April 16, 2015.  H.R. 1734 would give states the flexibility to authorize permitting programs for coal ash.

 

Coal ash, a residual by-product of using coal to generate electricity, is used in several common products such as concrete, paving materials and drywall.  The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized a rule with requirements regulating coal ash as a non-hazardous waste.  H.R. 1734 effectively gives States authority to authorize permitting programs for coal ash as well as site-specific tailoring to meet EPA’s new federal regulations.  A companion bill was recently introduced in the Senate by Joe Manchin (D-WV).  However, in the past two sessions of Congress, bills to give EPA the authority to implement the new coal ash requirements under the watchful eye of respective States have stalled in the Senate.

 

Coal Ash legislation reflects a key point of AABE’s Energy and Environmental Justice Principles that the “AABE believes facilities associated with energy production should be compliant with all

Regulations…”.

 

To view the EPA final rule please go to:  http://www2.epa.gov/coalash/coal-ash-rule

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