House passes leaky coal ash bill

Click above to read copy the full statement issued by the Obama administration in objection to House Rule 1734.

In a 258-166 vote yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill aimed at weakening the EPA's first-ever coal ash rule. The Obama administration has already threatened to veto the bill, should it reach the president's desk.

Senior attorney Frank Holleman leads SELC's team of attorneys addressing coal ash throughout the Southeast. His reaction to the vote is below.

“It’s disappointing that members of the House voted to dismantle important EPA coal ash protections, putting public health and safety at risk by stripping the few critical safety requirements and protections included in the rule," he said. "It would result in a rule that contains no repercussions or responsibility for cleanup. Coal ash contains dangerous toxic substances like arsenic, and irresponsibly disposed coal ash is currently leaking into waterways and groundwater, endangering communities across the country.
 “This bill only serves to weaken citizens’ ability to enforce the law and protect their communities. Members of the House even shot down commonsense amendments to provide more protections against contamination by requiring well water testing for possible contamination near coal ash sites and ensuring that utilities monitor closed coal ash ponds to make sure they aren’t leaking toxic pollution.
 “Congress should work to put more – not fewer – protections in place to keep our waterways and communities safe. We hope the Senate will do the right thing for public health and our waterways and strike this bill down.”


Additional Resources:

The Greensboro News & Record reports on the House rejection of North Carolina Rep. Alma Adams' ammendment to fix the coal ash bill.

Read the Associated Press coverage of the vote and the politics behind it.

More News

Hearings highlight Georgia Power’s lack of enthusiasm for cutting carbon, increasing efficiency

Georgia Power continues to underinvest in proven clean energy solutions for reducing its customers’ power bills. That was the message brought for...

New South Carolina solar law keeps solar working for Palmetto State

Today, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster signed a law removing the brakes on South Carolina’s growing solar industry. The Energy Freedom Act...

Virginia Senators, Reps urged to protect Appalachian Trail

Yesterday more than 50 organizations from across the state called on Virginia Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner and Virginia’s members of the Ho...

Congressman: Drilling delay a tactic to help Trump allies avoid “electoral poison”

In court and on Capitol Hill this month, the Trump administration made clear that it is still moving forward with permits for seismic blasting ev...

Climate change key as national discussion around infrastructure revs up

As discussion of a major federal infrastructure package continues, a coalition of national groups is again calling for substantial new infrastruc...

Freedom of Information request reveals quota for cutting endangered species protections

A Freedom of Information Act request by SELC and Defenders of Wildlife has revealed that the Southeast region of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service...

More Stories