Yesterday, the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy marked up the H.R. 1391, the “Recycling Coal Combustion Residuals Accessibility Act.” This job-saving bill, introduced by Representative David McKinley (R-WV), would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating coal ash as a hazardous waste under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. The EPA has proposed to regulate coal ash as a hazardous material through rulemaking which it undertook last year.
After receiving an overwhelming number of comments in opposition to its proposed rule on coal ash, the EPA has decided to postpone finalizing a rule until next year. As a result, the companies that sell and use this common product have been placed in a regulatory limbo, creating uncertainty and financial burdens.
This legislation will prevent the EPA from regulating coal ash as a hazardous waste. Furthermore, it would prevent coal-fired utilities from having to categorize a valuable byproduct as a costly liability. Therefore, H.R. 1391 will prevent the loss of existing jobs and will stop the unintended consequences such as a higher energy and construction costs.
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