Industry pressuring Obama on coal-ash rules

December 18, 2009 by Ken Ward Jr.

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There’s an interesting report out today from the Center for Progressive Reform’s CPR Blog, following up on yesterday’s EPA announcement of a delay in issuing a rules proposal on toxic coal-ash handling and disposal.

(See my previous breaking new blog post and a Gazette print story here and here).

It seems that in the months leading up to EPA’s decision to delay its rules proposal, officials from various affected industries met with the White House Office of Management and Budget 10 times to discuss the topic. It’s worth nothing that this list of meetings only runs up through Nov. 17 — we don’t know what meetings took place after that.

As James Goodwin explained:

Based on the meeting records on OIRA’s website, no other specific regulatory issue has attracted this much industry attention. (EPA’s controversial rule on greenhouse gas reporting, in comparison, only generated six meetings between industry representatives and OIRA.) The peak came on Thursday, November 12, when OIRA hosted three different meetings with industry officials to discuss coal ash disposal. Industry reps must have lined up outside the EEOB like teenagers waiting for the opening day showing of New Moon.

The blog pointed out that these meetings all took place before EPA has even published a proposed rule, starting the formal rulemaking process — a process which would be very open for industry folks to have all the input they want:

It is completely inappropriate for OIRA to allow industry to become so involved before the rulemaking process has even officially begun. After all, as described above, the APA provides ample opportunities for these industries to participate in the rulemaking process and to make their views known. Even worse, OIRA is providing these industries with a forum in which they can try to intimidate EPA into adopting a weak regulatory approach for coal ash disposal—one in which coal ash is officially designated as a non-hazardous waste under RCRA and thus subject to only very weak state oversight. Indeed, these industries are using these meetings as opportunities to provide EPA with a preview of the fierce battle it will face if it attempts to take a stronger regulatory approach when the official rulemaking process does finally commence. (For what it’s worth, OIRA has met with environmental groups on this issue only once, though that imbalance isn’t the main point).

7 Responses to “Industry pressuring Obama on coal-ash rules”

  1. roselle says:

    Justice delayed is justice denied.

  2. […] here:  Blogs @ The Charleston Gazette – » Industry pressuring Obama on … By admin | category: tattoo | tags: christmas, circus-lady, climate-deal, coal-worried, […]

  3. rhmooney3 says:

    December 21, 2009
    EPA, USDA push farmers to use coal waste on fields
    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gdViQih0ivBUZpEevPeeRGoprQpgD9CNJ6BO0
    (Excerpt)
    Part of that push is to expand use of synthetic gypsum — a whitish, calcium-rich material known as flue gas desulfurization gypsum, or FGD gypsum.

    The Obama administration has continued promoting FGD gypsum’s use in farming even as it drafts a coal waste rule in response to a spill from a coal ash pond near Knoxville, Tenn., one year ago Tuesday. Ash and water flooded 300 acres, damaging homes and killing fish in nearby rivers. The cleanup is expected to cost about $1 billion.

    —–

    As of 2006, about 125 million tons of “coal-combustion byproducts,” including fly ash, were produced in the U.S. each year, with about 43 percent of that amount used in commercial applications, according to the American Coal Ash Association Web site. As of early 2008, the EPA hoped that figure would increase to 50 percent as of 2011.
    Source:
    http://hamptonroads.com/2008/03/above-ground-golf-course-just-beneath-it-potential-health-risks

  4. […] Industry pressuring Obama on coal-ash rules. — Ken Ward, Jr., The Charleston Gazette, December 18, 2009 There’s an interesting report out today from the Center for Progressive Reform’s CPR Blog, following up on yesterday’s EPA announcement of a delay in issuing a rules proposal on toxic coal-ash handling and disposal. (See my previous breaking new blog post and a Gazette print story here and here).  It seems that in the months leading up to EPA’s decision to delay its rules proposal, officials from various affected industries met with the White House Office of Management and Budget 10 times to discuss the topic. It’s worth nothing that this list of meetings only runs up through Nov. 17 — we don’t know what meetings took place after that. Click Here […]

  5. […] Industry pressuring Obama on coal-ash rules. — Ken Ward, Jr., The Charleston Gazette, December 18, 2009 There’s an interesting report out today from the Center for Progressive Reform’s CPR Blog, following up on yesterday’s EPA announcement of a delay in issuing a rules proposal on toxic coal-ash handling and disposal. (See my previous breaking new blog post and a Gazette print story here and here).  It seems that in the months leading up to EPA’s decision to delay its rules proposal, officials from various affected industries met with the White House Office of Management and Budget 10 times to discuss the topic. It’s worth nothing that this list of meetings only runs up through Nov. 17 — we don’t know what meetings took place after that. Click Here […]

  6. rhmooney3 says:

    December 22, 2009
    Broken promises follow Tennessee coal ash disaster
    http://www.southernstudies.org/2009/12/broken-promises-follow-tennessee-coal-ash-disaster.html

    December 23, 3009
    http://www.southernstudies.org/2009/12/top-10-stories-of-2009-1-the-biggest-eco-disaster-youve-never-heard-about-unless-you-were-reading-fa.html
    (Excerpts)
    Editorial Director Sue Sturgis had already been researching the obscure issue of coal ash for years, an interest sparked by environmental concerns related to coal ash dumping in the Pennsylvania mining community where she grew up. She had reported on coal ash at Facing South even before the TVA disaster, writing about how it presented a serious cancer threat, how new technology to better capture air pollution only intensified the problem, and on the effort to better regulate the waste. . . . With the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency promising it will release a coal-ash regulation soon, Facing South is making some promises of its own: to stay on the story, and to speak the truth of coal’s hazards to power.

  7. […] Industry pressuring Obama on coal-ash rules (Coal Tattoo) […]

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