Ahead of Committee Vote, American Workers and Utility Groups Voice Strong Support for Commonsense Measure to Protect Jobs, Public Health, and the Environment

June 19, 2013

WASHINGTON, DC – Broad support continues to build ahead of today’s House Energy and Commerce Committee vote on H.R. 2218, the Coal Residuals Reuse and Management Act, authored by Rep. David McKinley (R-WV). This commonsense, bipartisan legislation provides a workable alternative to EPA’s proposal to regulate coal ash as a hazardous waste, which would put hundreds of thousands of jobs at risk and drive up electricity and construction costs. The bill protects public health, the environment, and jobs by creating a state-based program that sets enforceable federal standards. It will also ensure the continued beneficial reuse of coal ash, which is widely used in construction products such as cement, concrete, wallboard, and roofing materials.

A broad number of diverse organizations this week voiced their support for the legislation. A complete listing of those organizations is available here.

International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship Builders, Blacksmiths, Forgers, and Helpers

“Maintaining the availability of coal fly ash as a transportation construction building material is vital to keeping costs down for American taxpayers… We believe allowing states to manage CCRs as non-hazardous waste with federal authority to enforce compliance standards where warranted strikes a reasonable balance between protecting public health and yet supporting the thousands of construction and manufacturing jobs that rely on the reuse and recycling of this critical material.”

American Public Power Association, Edison Electric Institute, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, Utility Solid Waste Activities Group

“The bill: (e)nsures that the nation can continue to receive the substantial employment and environmental benefits that come from the beneficial use of coal ash in transportation, housing and building construction, and other uses. … We believe that the states are in the best position to implement and enforce a permit program for CCR disposal. … H.R. 2218 is the best and most effective path to resolve the regulatory uncertainty surrounding the disposal of CCR.”

Building and Construction Trades Department, A.F.L.-C.I.O.

“With continued unacceptable levels of unemployment in the construction sector, which is nearly double the national rate, the use of CCRs will keep our members at work in the utility sector and expand employment opportunities for our transportation construction members. … (U)rge your strong support for this bill as it represents a victory for bipartisanship, for jobs and for a much needed economic recovery and growth.”

Portland Cement Association

“Cement manufacturers believe that a legislative remedy pre-empting classification of CCRs as hazardous waste will not only help preserve high quality manufacturing jobs by curtailing unnecessary regulation, but will also promote environmental stewardship by providing incentives for increased recycling of coal ash, or beneficial use.”

Utility Workers Union of America, A.F.L. – C.I.O.

“We believe that the states are in the best position to implement and enforce a permit program for CCR disposal…Under H.R. 2218, the public can have confidence that the central components of an effective regulatory program will be implemented at facilities across the country. Even more important, they can have confidence that a facility that does not meet environmental and safety standards will be closed.”

More information on H.R. 2218 can be found here.

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