Sounds like the Republicans didn’t need to bother with their budget rider to block new coal-ash regulations. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is apparently in no big hurry to finalize its rules.
EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson testified to Congress yesterday and said the rules won’t be finalized in 2011. According to a report in BNA (subscription required):
Responding to a question from Rep. Steve LaTourette (R-Ohio) about the status of the coal ash regulation, Jackson said the rule “would not be ready this calendar year” because the agency has to sift through more than 450,000 public comments on the proposal. The agency had said previously that it might publish a final rule before the end of 2011
“It will take quite a bit of time to sort through [the comments],” Jackson said during a hearing by the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies. The “final decision would be based on comment, science, and law.”