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--- More on coal ash

Published by waner in coal · 27/1/2015 10:28:15
Tags: coalMcKinleyEPA

According to today’s editorial in the Intelligencer, there is no problem with coal ash:


Doing so would have flown in the face of research indicating coal ash is not a hazardous material. Even the EPA itself, in 1993, 2000 and last December, has reached that conclusion.


Sorry, not classifying it as "hazardous" doesn’t mean that it is safe. And what EPA ruled in December did not rule out regulation of coal ash.

Instead, coal ash will be regulated similarly to household garbage. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy assured reporters on Friday that designating coal ash as solid waste, rather than hazardous waste, would be sufficient to prevent catastrophic spills of coal ash from the ponds the substance is often stored in, and to prevent it from leaching into groundwater, as it has in the past.


I last covered this topic at the end of October when I posted this video from Earth Justice. At the time I said:

Earth Justice recently released this ten minute video about the incredible damage the dumping of coal ash into the environment is doing to the most northern tip of the West Virginia Panhandle. The video interviews two families from West Virginia and Pennsylvania about what is happening there.  As Theresa in the video says: "It’s very disturbing."

If you haven’t seen it, it’s worth a look.


_________________________________________________

The editorial also claims that:

U.S. Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va., led the fight against the EPA's coal ash proposal. In one of the few victories against Obama's anti-coal initiative, McKinley forced the EPA to back away from its proposal.


The Intelligencer argued this a couple of months ago in an editorial supporting McKinley for Congress. At the time, I could find no support for their assertion. (I also asked readers to contact me if they knew what McKinley had supposedly done.) Is this part of a McKinley PR effort? I still can’t find anything that says it was a second-term representative, David McKinley that forced the EPA to back away. Again, contact me if you know what they are talking about.



--- Coal ash and David McKinley

Published by waner in coal · 28/10/2014 16:26:45
Tags: McKinleycoalEPA

Earth Justice recently released this ten minute video about the incredible damage the dumping of coal ash into the environment is doing to the most northern tip of the West Virginia Panhandle. The video interviews two families from West Virginia and Pennsylvania about what is happening there.  As Theresa in the video says: "It’s very disturbing."

Of course we could contact Congressman David McKinley about this but I don’t think it will help - here’s a press release from the congressman’s office dated June 18 of this year:

Washington, D.C.—This morning, Rep. David B. McKinley, P.E. (R-WV), was presented with the Champion of Coal Ash Award for his work in Congress to protect and promote the use of coal ash and stop the EPA from labeling it as a hazardous material.

McKinley has also done very well this election cycle with contributions from the coal industry. So far this campaign he has received $116,000 from the coal which ranks him second in the House.


Update – As I was putting this post together, Earth Justice reported that the "White House Begins Review of First-Ever Coal Ash Rule":

Washington, D.C — The White House Office of Management and Budget has begun its review of the first-ever federal rule for the storage and disposal of toxic coal ash. This is an important step towards ensuring the EPA meets its court-ordered deadline of December 19 to finalize much needed protections.


I'm sure both McKinley and the Intelligencer will have something to say about this within the next day or two. And given the choice of coming to the aid of either his constituents or the coal industry, which do you think he'll choose?



--- Lab admits to faking water data for coal companies

Published by waner in coal · 21/10/2014 09:08:50
Tags: coalEPA

Another coal story you won’t see in Wheeling "newspapers"

From the front page of this morning’s Charleston Gazette:

Employees of a Raleigh County laboratory falsified water quality samples under pressure from their coal company clients, a laboratory technician and supervisor who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate the Clean Water Act told a federal judge earlier this month.

John W. Shelton told U.S. District Judge Irene Berger that he and others at Appalachian Laboratories Inc. faked the samples so "that we could maintain the business with the coal companies that we were working for."

"The coal companies put a lot of pressure on the [laboratory] companies, smaller companies, to get good water data, and that was it," Shelton testified under oath during an Oct. 9 hearing in federal court in Beckley.

Shelton made his comments when pressed by Berger to explain his actions during a hearing where he pleaded guilty to taking part in a conspiracy to repeatedly fake compliant water quality standards for coal companies.




--- WV mountaintop removal

Published by waner in mountaintop removal · 1/10/2014 17:03:08
Tags: EPAcoal

Court decision backs EPA

Earth Justice reports:

Today Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia upheld the Environmental Protection Agency’s veto of a permit for one of the largest and most extreme mountaintop removal coal mines ever proposed in Appalachia, the Spruce No. 1 Mine. The court found no merit in the coal industry’s case, and found that EPA’s decision to veto the Clean Water Act permit for this mine was reasonable and fully supported by the scientific record.




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