Coal Tattoo

EPA skips coalfields in setting coal-ash hearings


EPA plans to add another public hearing on its coal-ash rule, in response to this blog post. I just got this statement in an e-mail from Betsaida Alcantara, the agency’s deputy press secretary:

Thank you for bringing this to our attention. As a result, the Administrator directed her staff to hold at least one hearing in one of the states with the most coal ash being stored in impoundments. As soon as we have the details, we will share them with you and the public. In the meantime, it’s important to note that we have scheduled five hearings in five different EPA Regions of the country with the hope that we can hear from as many people as possible.

Back in May, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson called for a “national dialogue” on her agency’s proposal to regulate the handling and disposal of toxic coal ash.

But today, when it announced plans for a series of public hearings on its proposed rule, EPA seems to have left out any effort to reach out to citizens of the nation’s coalfields.

The list of hearing locations:

— Arlington, Va.

— Denver, Colo.

— Dallas, Texas.

— Charlotte, N.C.

— Chicago, Ill.

Missing from that list?

How about West Virginia, Kentucky and Pennsylvania — or maybe even Tennessee, site of the coal-ash disaster that led EPA to finally take some action about this problem?

The list of hearing locations also doesn’t include any of the top five states with the most coal-ash being stored in impoundments (Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Georgia and Alabama).