Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives in a vote of 258-166 passed coal ash legislation, H.R. 1734, the “Improving Coal Combustion Residuals Regulation Act of 2015”. 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 in April 2015 a self-implementing rule that regulates coal ash as a non-hazardous waste. H.R. 1734 would allow the States to implement EPA’s rule, including some limited site-specific tailoring, through a coal ash permit program subject to EPA review and oversight. A companion bill, S. 1803, was introduced last week in the Senate by Joe Manchin (D-WV) and John Hoeven (R-ND).
Coal Ash legislation reflects a key point of AABE's Energy and Environmental Justice Principles; the Principles state that the "AABE believes facilities associated with energy production should be compliant with all Regulations...".
To view the legislative text of H.R. 1734 go to : https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/1734
To view the EPA final rule please go to: http://www2.epa.gov/coalash/coal-ash-rule