Friday, December 19, 2014

Shame on You, EPA

People have already died from coal ash in Kentucky and Tennessee, you chicken-shit, scare-of-Mitch-McConnell motherfuckers.

And no, he's not going to leave you alone because of this; he's recognized your cowardice and he's going to triple down on destroying your agency.

And you deserve it.

Emily Atkin at Think Progress:

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Friday issued its first-ever regulations on coal ash, a toxic byproduct of burning coal for power. But to environmentalists’ chagrin, the agency declined to designate the substance as a hazardous waste.

Instead, coal ash will be regulated similarly to household garbage. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy assured reporters on Friday that designating coal ash as solid waste, rather than hazardous waste, would be sufficient to prevent catastrophic spills of coal ash from the ponds the substance is often stored in, and to prevent it from leaching into groundwater, as it has in the past.

“I’m very proud that the EPA is moving this over the finish line,” McCarthy said. “[The rule] is a common sense path forward that protects public health and the environment.”

Coal ash — which often contains chemicals like arsenic, chromium, mercury, and lead — is the second-largest form of waste generated in the United States. After producing it, coal companies sometimes dispose of it by dumping it into ditches, and filling those ditches with water. Those ditches, called coal ash ponds or lagoons, are often unlined, meaning the coal ash comes in direct contact with the environment. It has, until now, never been federally regulated.

Environmentalists have long been pushing for a strong rule, but they were less than enthused about the direction EPA decided to take with it on Friday. “There is simply no excuse for EPA’s dangerously weak coal ash rule, which treats toxic waste loaded with carcinogens like household garbage,” Josh Nelson, campaign manager at CREDO Action, said in a statement.
 James Bruggers at the Courier has a good piece on this.

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