Mar 4 2009
10:39 am

The Environmental Integrity Project, Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council, National Wildlife Federation, Clean Air Task Force, and more than 100 other environmental policy groups including Knoxville-based Southern Alliance for Clean Energy have signed a joint letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson urging regulation of coal combustion waste byproducts including fly ash. The joint letter cites the Kingston coal ash spill disaster and the ongoing threat posed by "nearly a hundred million tons of toxic coal ash and related CCW dumped in ponds, pits and mines across the United States every year without federal regulation."

The joint letter states: "The disaster at TVA's Kingston plant dramatized the need for federal standards for safe disposal of these wastes, which are virtually unregulated by the EPA. After eight years of counterproductive backpedaling, we are confident that you will chart a new, responsible course for the Agency by supporting the adoption of standards, whether reflected in legislation or new regulations, that reflect the gravity of the situation and are guided by a consistent set of principles."

Noting that the "evidence is now in," the joint letter points out a coalition of 125 environmental groups petitioned the Agency five years ago to commence regulatory proceedings to stop disposal of coal ash in water, including in the kind of wet "surface impoundment" that gave way in Kingston.

Here is a copy of the letter.

In related news, the TVA corrective action plan filed with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation says the Kingston disaster likely spells the end for wet storage of fly ash. The Knoxville News Sentinel files this report.

R. Neal's picture

Editorial oddity: The TVA

Editorial oddity: The TVA corrective action plan is the front page, above the fold top headline in today's paper, but is nowhere to be found on the front page of their website.

SnM's picture

Actually it is

6th down under "More headlines," meaning (i think) it would have been second under 'Leno to perform' when the site was updated earlier, before the morning stories started driving first-posted ones lower.

WhitesCreek's picture

Step Two

I want to see a plan to eliminate coal ash altogether.

rikki's picture

Asking EPA to regulate coal

Asking EPA to regulate coal ash is soooo last century.

Tim's picture

Police detain UMD member

The fact that TVA police and the Sherriff's department don't want anyone other than TDEC & CTEH to do Air Monitoring as shown by the detention of a UMD (United Mountain Defense) member for 2 hours and searching him, seemingly without a warrant after he tried to set up an air monitoring station in the area on private property, with the owners permission, means it looks like it's time to send in the National Guard like they had to do in Selma Alabama on March 7 1965 after an unprovoked attack by State Police on unarmed civil rights marchers.

Mello's picture

The Obama EPA is listening


The Obama administration will propose new regulations governing coal combustion waste by the end of the year, and will act immediately to prevent accidents like the release in December

Imagine an agency that actually protects the environment. Radical!

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