The spill of over a billion pounds of coal ash sludge from the TVA’s Kingston Power Plant in Tennessee on Dec. 22, 2008 focused the nation’s attention on the storage and treatment of coal ash waste from coal-burning power plants. The United States generates 130 million tons of coal ash each year, and this ash is stored in more than 550 impoundments across the country. Pollutants in coal ash lead to cancer, organ failure and nervous system damage. Since the TVA incident, the EPA has rated 49 of the impoundments as High Hazard Potential sites and 60 as Significant Hazard.
For over a year, the EPA has been working on plans for the first ever federal rules meant to safeguard communities from the hazards of coal ash ponds and landfills. But concerted industry pressure from some of the country’s biggest polluters has stalled the EPA’s plans.
A broad coalition of national environmental groups is now calling on the White House to take action on the EPA’s proposed regulations. “The Obama Administration needs to get this proposal out into the sunshine, and keep its promise to make decisions that are transparent, and guided by both law and science”, says Eric Schaeffer, executive director for Environmental Integrity Project.
Concerned citizens are urged to SEND AN E-MAIL TO PRESIDENT OBAMA. The cardinal points that need to be made in your message are:
- America has waited far too long for comprehensive protections against toxic coal ash threats to our health and our water.
- The US EPA needs to regulate coal ash as a hazardous waste and use the full extent of the law to protect our health and environment.
- Industry should not be allowed to flex its lobbying muscles and stand in the way of better health and a cleaner environment.
You may also contact the White House by calling or faxing:
- Comments: 202-456-1111 – leave a message
- Switchboard: 202-456-1414 – talk to an operator
- FAX: 202-456-2461