by Brian Perbix, Coal Country Organizer
Prairie Rivers Network, Illinois Sierra Club
Your U.S. Representative needs to hear from you now as Congress tries to push the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) out of the way in favor of continuing to put the coal industry’s bottom line ahead of protecting the health and environmental integrity of coalfield communities.
Over a year ago, EPA proposed improved rules for how to store and dispose of harmful coal ash in response to the more than 100 known coal ash contamination cases in the U.S. Over 450,000 public comments were received – more than had ever been received for any other proposed regulation. Despite the overwhelming public outcry for protection from mismanagement of coal ash at the state level, as part of the War on Water some Congressional Representatives have advanced a bill that would prevent EPA from finishing the process of proposing commonsense safeguards to limit coal ash pollution. The bill, H.R. 2273, is expected to come up for a vote this week (Oct 14). Please take a moment to call your U.S. Representative NOW and ask them to Vote No on H.R. 2273!
TALKING POINTS INCLUDE:
- VOTE NO on H.R. 2273!
- Let EPA use its expertise, public feedback and the best science to decide how to regulate coal ash – without interference by Congress or special interest groups that have donated millions to anti-EPA campaigns.
- Improper management of coal ash in Illinois has earned us the distinction of having the second highest number of documented coal-ash damage sites of any state in the U.S.
- The public is at risk. Despite its hazardous characteristics, coal ash is not subject to federal regulations, and state laws governing coal ash disposal in Illinois are weak.
- Coal ash is toxic. Coal ash, the by-product of burning coal, contains toxic heavy metals such as arsenic, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, lead and mercury. The public health and environmental hazards from unsafe coal ash dumping have been known for many years, including increased risk of cancer, learning disabilities, neurological disorders, birth defects, reproductive failure, asthma and other sicknesses.