Environmental advocates are facing new setbacks in their fight for strict federal regulation of coal ash, the toxic waste created by burning coal for electricity that's been linked to scores of environmental damage cases nationwide.
Last week the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill sponsored by Rep. David McKinley (R-W.Va.) that would block the federal Environmental Protection Agency from adopting strict federal rules for disposing of coal ash waste. The House bill would leave oversight up to the states, which are currently in charge of regulating coal ash. The vote on the measure was 267-144, with 37 Democrats supporting it and only three Republicans voting against it.
"This Congress is turning their backs on what hundreds of communities living near coal ash ponds and landfills really need," said Tripp Van Noppen, president of the nonprofit environmental law firm Earthjustice. "Instead, these elected officials are paying attention only to the needs of corporate polluters intent on preserving their old, dangerous way of doing business."
See the report in its entirety here: www.southernstudies.org/2011/10/states-will-fight-environmentalists-over-federal-coal-ash-rules.html