SACE in the News: Coal Ash Regulations Likely Delayed Until After 2012 Election

Two recent articles about coal ash featured comments by SACE’s Executive Director, Dr. Stephen Smith. An article in the Knoxville News-Sentinel, “Environmental groups see politics behind delay of rules on coal ash” brings the unwelcome news that classifying coal ash as hazardous waste will likely not happen until after the 2012 election. Dr. Smith, is quoted as saying, “There is a high degree of frustration among a number of folks within our community.”

This comes on top of news from the AP that TVA continues a $1.2 billion cleanup of the Kingston, TN coal ash spill. The AP piece also cites Smith: “Stephen Smith, executive director of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, said he is concerned that EPA saying the new regulation will not likely be this year means ‘going into an election year and there is a good chance of kicking the can down the road even further.’”

A separate, but related issue is the EPA’s proposed rule on “Air Toxics.” This rule would prevent 91 percent of mercury in coal burned at power plants from being released to the air according to the EPA. SACE volunteer and pediatrician Dr. Yolanda Whyte recently had an op-ed piece supporting the proposed rule published by the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

June 2nd, 2011

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