Press Statement on U.S. House of Representatives’ Vote to Weaken Federal Coal Ash Protections
Washington, D.C.- In response to a bill passed today by the U.S. House of Representatives that weakens federal protections concerning coal ash storage and disposal, Southern Environmental Law Center Senior Attorney Frank Holleman released the following statement:
“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, and resulting 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.”
About the Southern Environmental Law Center:
The Southern Environmental Law Center is a regional nonprofit using the power of the law to protect the health and environment of the Southeast (Virginia, Tennessee, North and South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama). Founded in 1986, SELC's team of nearly 60 legal and policy experts represent more than 100 partner groups on issues of climate change and energy, air and water quality, forests, the coast and wetlands, transportation, and land use. www.SouthernEnvironment.org