The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is preparing a new rule to regulate the disposal of toxic coal ash – the byproduct of burning coal for power. As expected, the coal industry is fighting to maintain the status quo on coal ash, backing a proposal that limits opportunities for public input and ensures coal ash is treated less responsibly than household trash.
The nearly 130 million tons of coal ash generated each year is full of harmful toxins like arsenic, lead and mercury. People living near the coal ash sites have a staggering 1 in 50 risk of cancer. Both the EPA and the National Academy of Sciences have years of research making it clear that coal ash is becoming increasingly toxic and confirming time and again that coal ash poses a threat to human health.
EPA must treat coal waste as a hazardous substance and ensure that residents of communities impacted by coal ash disposal can provide input on how the coal ash should be handled.
We must generate thousands of emails and phone calls to the White House, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the US EPA and Congressional Offices telling them coal ash is hazardous and federal regulations are needed immediately. There is no more time for delay!
- Coal-fired power producers, US Senators and Congressman, Governors, and federal and state agencies are pressuring the White House and OMB to derail the US EPA’s attempts to reportedly establish national disposal standards to protect water supplies and communities from toxic coal combustion wastes, or coal ash.
- Polluters have already met with OMB and other White House officials at least 21 times in advance of the US EPA’s proposed coal ash rules! Polluters are trying to prevent the public from having a chance to see and comment on the proposed rules.
- The time has come to tell the Obama administration the public should be allowed to see and comment on these rules! They need to know we want and support hazardous waste rules that protect our health and environment from coal ash.
- We want President Obama to uphold his promise of allowing science to dictate policy: federal agencies must allow the US EPA to do its job to protect our water from the irresponsible dumping of coal ash – dumping that has been allowed by states for decades.
- Whether it’s a public health threat, an environmental justice issue, a threat to species or public safety, coal ash is bad news for millions of Americans. Tell the White House and EPA how coal ash is a threat in your region and your neighborhood.