Coal ash management, according to electric cooperatives, requires clear authority, certainty and common sense. That’s what co-op leaders said the Senate delivered in major legislation.
Provisions critical for addressing coal ash-coal combustion residuals from electric generation-cleared the Senate as part of the Water Resources Development Act, S. 2848, in a 95-3 vote Sept. 15.
“These provisions inject some greatly needed certainty into the regulation of coal ash, much of which is recycled to provide tremendous economic and environmental benefits,” said National Rural Electric Cooperative Association CEO Jim Matheson.
“By giving state agencies the authority to enforce federal coal ash regulations, the bill provides increased certainty surrounding the application of the regulations and also limits litigation, which is important to their safe management and continued beneficial use.”
At Seminole Electric Cooperative in Tampa, Fla., CEO Lisa Johnson said, “We recycle hundreds of thousands of tons of coal combustion residuals every year into beneficial products like wallboard and concrete block. If we were unable to recycle this material, it would be landfilled.”