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Sierra Club Spins Tall Ãtoxic Tale For Epa Coal Ash Hearing In Mile High City

A full-page Denver Post ad running the day prior to a public hearing on the Environmental Protection Agency proposed rule for coal combustion residuals claims: “Ignoring the risks of toxic coal ash could come at a high cost – our children”

Sources: Citizens for Recycling First, Denver; CP staff

A full-page Denver Post ad running the day prior to a public hearing on the Environmental Protection Agency proposed rule for coal combustion residuals claims: Ignoring the risks of toxic coal ash could come at a high cost Ò our children. Anchoring the ad is the image of a baby drinking from a bottle with the words mercury, arsenic, selenium, lead floating inside.

The hearing is one of seven the agency scheduled to garner feedback on Identification and Listing of Special Wastes; Disposal of Coal Combustion Residuals (CCR) from Electric Utilities. One option--a listing of CCR under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Subtitle C--would have landfill-bound CCR designated a hazardous waste. Concrete interests contend that such a classification would stigmatize ASTM C618-grade fly ash and greatly hamper its commercial viability as supplementary cementing material.

The Denver Post ad is among scare tactics the Sierra Club has undertaken to advance EPA's hazardous waste designation for coal ash, Citizens for Recycling First notes, adding that the environmental group has misleadingly claimed, The EPA is holding a public comment period on new, federally enforceable standards to protect Americans, but the coal industry is fighting back, trying to put their profits before our health.

The American Coal Ash Association has endorsed key aspects of an alternative EPA offers in the proposed Identification and Listing rule, namely, an RCRA Subtitle D classification for CCR. Responding to Sierra Club's advocacy of stronger CCR disposal regulation under Subtitle C, Citizens for Recycling First explains, the Subtitle D proposal carries landfill engineering standards identical to those of Subtitle C. More importantly, the Subtitle D listing could be implemented without a hazardous waste label sure to affect landfill-bound CCR and, likely, concrete-grade and other recyclable CCR as well.

The EPA hearings continue in Chicago, September 16, Hilton Chicago; Pittsburgh, September 21, Omni Hotel; and, Louisville, Ky., September 28, Seelbach Hotel. The agency is accepting requests for three-minute speaker slots online. EPA has also extended the public comment period for Identification and Listing from September 20 through November 19. Comments noting Docket ID No. EPAÒHQÒRCRAÒ2009Ò0640, can be submitted to www.regulations.gov or directed to rcradocket@epa.gov; or, mailed (two copies) to Hazardous Waste Management System; Identification and Listing of Special Wastes; Disposal of Coal Combustion Residuals From Electric Utilities Docket, Attention Docket ID No., EPAÒHQÒRCRAÒ2009Ò0640, Environmental Protection Agency, Mailcode: 5305T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460.