Committee Leaders Respond to Coal Ash Consent Decree

January 30, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC – House Energy and Commerce Committee leaders responded today to the consent decree filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia that establishes a deadline of December 19, 2014, for the Environmental Protection Agency to take a final action on the coal ash rule that was proposed in June 2010. The committee leaders called on the Senate to take up the bipartisan H.R. 2218, the Coal Residuals Reuse and Management Act, which passed the House in July 2013. A broad coalition of American workers, job creators, and other stakeholders strongly support the legislation.

“The regulatory uncertainty surrounding this rule continues to chill investment and job creation. This consent degree does not solve this long-standing problem, and EPA may still choose to regulate coal ash as a hazardous waste, putting the beneficial reuse industry and more jobs at risk. The House has offered a bipartisan solution that ensures an enforceable permit program for the management and disposal of coal ash that benefits both the environment and our economy. We can close this regulatory gap today if only the Senate were to take up our bill,” stated House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Environment and the Economy Subcommittee Chairman John Shimkus (R-IL).

“Over the past four years, we have conducted over 100 meetings and discussions and worked with the EPA, labor unions, businesses, coal ash recyclers, utilities and state environmental and safety officials to craft legislation,” said Rep. David McKinley (R-WV), author of H.R. 2218. “A legislative solution will give more certainty for the hundreds of thousands of Americans whose jobs depend on it. This recent action by the court makes it even more imperative for the Senate to pass this bill.” 

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