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May 05, 2020

Chairwoman Johnson Expresses Concern over Proposed EPA Rules on Management of Coal Ash

(Dallas, TX) – Today, Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) sent a letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler expressing concern over two rules recently proposed by the EPA on the management of coal combustion residuals (CCRs); these proposed rules will roll back elements of an EPA rule finalized in 2015 to regulate CCRs, also known as coal ash.

“EPA's own 2014 risk assessment of coal combustion residuals found that leaching from CCR units poses risk to human health,” said Chairwoman Johnson in the letter. “The greatest risks come from the presence of arsenic, lithium, and molybdenum in surface impoundments, and arsenic in landfills. Despite the preponderance of recent data on contamination levels and the potential environmental justice issues around CCR contamination, EPA ignores its obligation to conduct fresh environmental justice assessments for the two proposed rules. Both of the proposed rules state that the Agency's risk assessments ‘did not separately evaluate either minority or low­ income populations.’”

A copy of the full letter can be found here.