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Study: Weak Coal Ash Regs in Tenn. Highlight Need for Federal Law

"Tennessee has failed to become a leader in setting strong standards for coal ash disposal," green groups say

By Stacy Feldman

Oct 28, 2010

Last May, in the face of mounting pressure from environmental groups, the EPA proposed the nation's first pair of regulations to govern the 136 million tons of coal ash that are produced from the nation's 900 impoundments and landfills each year.

Smith said the two rules represent a "stark fork in the road" moment for the agency.

The first, under "Subtitle C" of the , would reclassify the coal byproduct as hazardous waste. Pollution controls would be mandatory in every state, and EPA would enforce them for the first time.

The rule would cover the entire lifecycle of coal ash.

Under "Subtitle D,” which is preferred by industry, oversight would continue through patchy state laws. Citizen lawsuits would be the main enforcement mechanism, with no mandatory federal oversight. The regulation would cover ash disposal only.

Smith said Subtitle C "would be a dramatic step in the right direction."

"We think it will provide many of the safeguards that many people have been looking for for several decades," he said.

Lisa Evans, an attorney with the environmental group , who assisted in the development of the report, said if Subtitle D is adopted it will be business as usual.

"EPA has already said that it expects more than half of the states not to pick up [Subtitle D] guidelines."

Many states have not been able to adopt or enforce even basic safety protections, including groundwater monitoring of waters near toxic coal ash sites, Evans said. This is "the most basic safeguard that you need in order to determine whether contaminants like arsenic are flowing out of the ash pond."

Cement makers and others that repurpose 40 percent of the nation's coal waste into construction materials and other "beneficial uses" have long fought tighter controls. They claim that regulating coal ash as hazardous material would slap a stigma on their industry and cost them billions.

Yesterday's EPA hearing in Tennessee was the last of eight held since August in cities from Colorado to North Carolina on the two options.

The public comment period for the rule was extended last month from Sept. 20 to Nov. 19. The agency delayed the process "due to the complexity of the analysis" required.

See also:

U.S. Investors With $240 Bln in Assets Urge Strict Federal Regs on Coal Ash

EPA’s First Federal Coal Ash Regs Garner Qualified Praise from Advocates

EPA Rethinking Coal Ash Regulation

EPA Releases Secret List of 44 High-Risk Coal Ash Ponds

EPA Study Finds Dangers in Coal Ash Ponds Nationwide

Review Finds 13 North Carolina Coal Ash Ponds Leaking Toxins into Groundwater

TVA's Inspector Says It Misled Public About Ash Spill 

TVA's Coal Ash Dumping Plan Sparks Health Concerns

Coal ash


Coal contains:   URANIUM, ARSENIC, LEAD, MERCURY, Antimony, Cobalt, Nickel, Copper, Selenium, Barium, Fluorine, Silver, Beryllium, Iron, Sulfur, Boron, Titanium, Cadmium, Magnesium, Thorium, Calcium, Manganese, Vanadium, Chlorine, Aluminum, Chromium, Molybdenum and Zinc.   There is so much of these elements in coal that cinders and coal smoke are actually valuable ores.   We should be able to get all the uranium and thorium we need to fuel nuclear power plants for centuries by using cinders and smoke as ore.   Unburned Coal also contains BENZENE, THE CANCER CAUSER.   We could get all of our uranium and thorium from coal ashes and cinders.   The carbon content of coal ranges from 96% down to 25%, the remainder being rock of various kinds.

If you are an underground coal miner, you may be in violation of the rules for radiation workers.   The uranium decay chain includes the radioactive gas RADON, which you are breathing.   Radon decays in about a day into polonium, the super-poison.


Chinese industrial grade coal is sometimes stolen by peasants for cooking.   The result is that the whole family dies of arsenic poisoning in days, not years because Chinese industrial grade coal contains large amounts of arsenic.  


Yes, that ARSENIC is getting into the air you breathe, the water you drink and the soil your food grows in.   So are all of those other heavy metal poisons.   Your health would be a lot better without coal.   Benzene is also found in petroleum.   If you have cancer, check for benzene in your past.


for most of the above.


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