Monday 19 November 2018

Coal Ash (30)

In 2015, Waterkeepers Chesapeake joined more than a half-million comments from people supporting the safeguards that U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is now seeking to remove in its proposed rule. The 2015 coal ash regulations were imposed after lengthy negotiations with utilities, other industries and environmentalists. Relaxing those common sense, science-based rules now – even as utilities are in the process of reporting the extent of coal-ash contamination and devising plans to address it – would mean the lessons learned from the coal ash accidents in Tennessee and North Carolina are being ignored. The proposed rule (‘remand rule’) would once again put our water and public health at risk – with more than 1.5 million children living near coal ash storage sites and seventy percent of all coal ash impoundments disproportionately impacting low-income communities – this is a risk that the EPA should be unwilling to take. Background Coal-fired power plants in the United States burn more than 800 million tons of coal every year, producing more than 110 million tons of solid waste in the form of fly ash, bottom ash, scrubber sludge and boiler slag—commonly known as coal ash. Hazardous chemicals present in coal are concentrated in the ash when coal is burned. Consequently, coal ash contains a toxic brew of carcinogens, neurotoxins, and poisons—including arsenic, boron, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, lead, lithium, mercury, molybdenum, selenium, thallium, and radioactive substances. These toxics raise the risk for cancer, heart disease, and stroke, and can inflict permanent brain damage on children.…
Under the Obama Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency adopted federal protections against the dangers posed by toxic coal ash. That rule requires closure of ash dumps in dangerous locations (including within five feet of groundwater), regular inspection of coal ash ponds, monitoring of groundwater near coal ash sites, closure of leaking ponds, cleanup when contamination is found, safe closure of dumps, and public posting of monitoring and inspection results. Under Administrator Scott Pruitt, the Environmental Protection Agency has proposed to weaken or eliminate the federal safeguards and protections against the dangers posed by coal ash. EPA is holding one public hearing on April 24th. These changes put the health and well-being of communities on the Potomac, James, Susquehanna, Patuxent and many other rivers at risk! Join your local Waterkeepers at the public hearing in Arlington on April 24th: CLICK HERE to register to speak. When: Tuesday, April 24 (9AM–12PM; 1–4PM; 5–8PM) Where: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, 300 S Army Navy Drive, Arlington, VA 22202 If you cannot attend, submit your written comments by Monday, April 30th -- CLICK HERE  EPA has proposed to: Allow operators of coal ash ponds and landfills to write their own standards Make cleanup of contamination discretionary (i.e., let polluters do nothing) Eliminate the requirement that leaking ponds install liners or close Give polluters extra time to close ponds and landfills located in unsafe areas and eliminate the strict location prohibitions entirely Allow political appointees, instead of professional engineers, to decide if a cleanup is adequate or even required. Every year, more than 110…
Dec. 4th Public Meeting & Rally on Coal Ash Disposal in Virginia Back in April, Governor McAuliffe put the brakes on issuing coal ash solid waste permits to Dominion for at least a year so the toxic coal ash threats posed at their facilities can be assessed and the full range of disposal solutions explored, including recycling. This assessment will be presented to the State Water Commission on December 4th. Please join us Dec. 4th from 10:00 – noon to hear the results of this finding. The meeting will be located in Virginia State Capitol, House Room 1, 1000 Bank Street, Richmond, Virginia. Remember to bring a state issued ID to gain entry into the Virginia State Capitol. Immediately following the meeting there will be a press event and a Dominion: Move Your Ash rally. RSVP today to receive updates. We need to tell Dominion and Virginia loud and clear that they can’t bury toxic coal ash in leaky ponds at their power plants! https://www.facebook.com/events/1310974965680909/ Water is Life Rally & Concert to Stop Atlantic Coast Pipeline on Dec. 2nd This rally and concert will focus attention on the Virginia Water Control Board hearings coming up in Richmond on December 6, 7, 11 & 12 to decide whether or not to grant water quality certifications for the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley Pipelines. The Rally & Concert on Dec. 2nd and the public hearings represent the last political chance in Virginia to stop these fracked gas pipelines. Help surround Capitol Grounds from 1-2pm to send a…