Statement from the Southern Environmental Law Center on Federal Bill to Strip Coal Ash Protections

Statement from Frank Holleman, Senior Attorney at the Southern Environmental Law Center:

“Rep. David McKinley's bill would dismantle the EPA’s recently announced coal ash protections, put public health and safety at risk by stripping the few critical safety requirements and protections included in the rule, and result in continuing coal ash contamination with no repercussions or responsibility for cleanup. Coal ash contains toxic substances harmful to people like arsenic, and irresponsibly disposed coal ash is currently leaking into waterways and groundwater, endangering communities across the country. 

Citizen lawsuits are one of the most important tools to force utilities to responsibly dispose of coal ash, but the committee-passed bill would curtail public access to information from utilities on coal ash pit assessments, severely weakening citizens’ ability to enforce the law and protect their communities. Congress should work to put more – not fewer – protections in place to keep our waterways and communities safe from this toxic substance. We urge the House to strike this bill down.”

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