Subcommittee to Review Draft Coal Ash Legislation
WASHINGTON, DC – The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy, chaired by Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL), will hold a legislative hearing on a discussion draft of "H.R. ___, the Improving Coal Combustion Residuals Regulation Act of 2015," next Wednesday, March 18, 2015, at 10:15 a.m. in room 2322 of the Rayburn House Office Building.
Energy and Commerce Committee member Rep. David McKinley (R-WV) put forward the draft legislation, which builds on bipartisan, bicameral work from the 112th and 113th Congresses to set up a state-based regulatory program to ensure the safe management and disposal of coal ash. The draft legislation would incorporate EPA’s final coal ash rule announced in December. It would eliminate the implementation issues associated with the final rule and give states the necessary enforcement authority to implement the standards set by EPA.
At a recent hearing, members of the subcommittee expressed concern that without the benefit of strong legislation, EPA’s rule could produce added uncertainty, litigation, and expense. McKinley’s legislation seeks to utilize the work done by EPA to put out a rule that is protective of human health and the environment and to ensure that the requirements are implemented through enforceable permits.
"This legislation will bring much-needed certainty to the rules surrounding coal ash. The EPA’s regulations offer more confusion and no reassurances that President Obama won’t change his mind later. We can finally solve this problem and protect 316,000 jobs that rely on coal ash by passing this legislation," said McKinley.
Chairman Shimkus added, "We share the same goal as EPA: to improve protections for health and the environment. But our bill goes a step further than EPA and breathes real-life enforcement authority into the standards. By putting states in charge of implementation, we can achieve the protections we all want and give job-creators the certainty they desperately need."
A panel of stakeholders will testify next week on the legislation.
To view text of the draft legislation, click HERE.
To view a summary of the draft legislation, click HERE.
The Majority Memorandum, a witness list, and witness testimony will be available HERE as they are posted.