Participate in the EPA Virtual Hearing October 10!

DEAN NAUJOKS

Would you be willing to take a minute of your time to tell EPA weakening coal ash regulations is a really bad idea? I testified last week at the public hearing held by the Environmental Protection Agency on its incredibly ill-founded new proposed regulations concerning disposal of coal combustion residuals (CCR) or toxic coal ash to the rest of us. I’m happy to say that not one person testified in favor of the regulations!

This poorly conceived proposal would allow coal ash to be used as construction fill for things like housing developments and golf courses with no requirements to protect local communities, drinking water sources and our rivers. This rollback would also allow the creation of massive coal ash piles that are known to spread toxic dust and metals into the air and water, as long as they are “temporary.” Ironically there is no deadline for cleaning up these piles, so “temporary” could mean decades.

You have followed our work over the past five years to reach a solution to coal ash pollution in Virginia.  We fought the hard fight and won, because we showed the public the facts about the real dangers posed by the improper storage and disposal of coal ash. I can’t tell you the pain I felt personally when I heard the stories of people like Dan and Patty Marrow, whose lives were fundamentally disrupted by coal ash toxins which leached into their drinking well. Their children had heightened health problems; the permanent contamination of their well rendered their home nearly uninhabitable and completely unsaleable; and their lives were permanently altered because of their neighbor Dominion Energy’s mishandling of coal ash.

Coal ash is the waste left over from burning coal to generate electricity, so it makes sense that we need to have strong regulations governing how it’s disposed of.  What doesn’t make sense is EPA’s latest effort to gut federal laws that protect the environment and public health, in favor of increased profits and weak oversight of big energy companies.

We continue to fight locally against the dangers of coal ash and we’re fighting nationally as well. Be by our side! Participate in the second public hearing by EPA on October 10. Participation is even easier, because it’s a virtual hearing, but you have to register by October 7 to speak.