Posts tagged regulation
Posts tagged regulation
So much for all of those public hearings and the 450,000 public comments generated by the EPA’s last coal ash regulation proposal. Now the agency is proposing to roll coal ash regs into water pollution guidelines and leaning away from a “hazardous” (or “special”) classification for coal ash.
Read the EPA’s latest proposed regulations here:
Alrighty, listen up:
Folks don’t seem to understand the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s stance on the “beneficial use” of coal ash — or either they are intentionally trying to mislead the public.
So let’s go over it word-for-word, shall we? Though, if you don’t get anything else out of this post, remember this quote from the EPA: “EPA continues to strongly support the safe and protective beneficial use of CCRs,”
(CCRs = coal combustion residuals, or coal.ash.)
This is text taken directly from the EPA’s Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) section of their website dealing with the two coal ash regulations the agency proposed in 2010, but still hasn’t implemented. Heck, it’s even added an extra section to the FAQs just for beneficial use …
Okay, here we go:
COAL - BURNING UTILITIES SEEK A ROLE IN EPA RULE - MAKING ON GREENHOUSE GAS EMMISSIONS
Lobbyists for coal-burning utilities such as Southern Co. and Duke Energy are consulting environmental advocates and holding strategy sessions as they seek a role in shaping President Obama’s plan to combat climate change.
Obama’s emphasis on global warming in his inaugural address last month has led power and coal producers, which have fought regulation of greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, to begin crafting their own proposed rules.
“It was the hope of a lot of companies in this sector that the president would be defeated,” Manik Roy, vice president for strategic outreach at the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, an Arlington-based energy and environment policy group, said in an interview. “Now that the president has raised this as such a high issue, you’d be absolutely nuts not to be in there trying to engage constructively.”
Groups such as the National Mining Association (NMA), which has sued to block or overturn Environmental Protection Agency rules in the past, appear to be taking a less confrontational approach now. The association for producers such as Arch Coal Inc. and Peabody Energy called last year’s EPA proposal that would have effectively outlawed new coal-fired power plants that lack carbon-capture technology “unprecedented and unlawful.”
For the next round of rule-making, the group is considering proposing its own regulations.
“We are looking at it internally here with our members to see if there are particular pathways that work better and can keep coal as a vibrant part of the electricity portfolio,” Hal Quinn, the NMA president, told reporters on Jan. 28. “That’s a very important question.
but relief is more likely to come from a series of small solutions rather than one big fix, according to trade group leaders at the United States Energy Association’s ninth annual State of the Energy Industry Forum.
The executives named a number of serious issues that their members may have to adjust to in 2013. These include new laws or regulations on cybersecurity, shale gas drilling, price hedging, effluent discharges, coal ash storage and existing power plants’ greenhouse gas emissions.
Here’s how things went down:
There was a huge coal ash disaster in Tennessee right before Christmas in 2008.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency promised to regulate coal ash — after only 30 years of consideration — by the end of 2009.
Instead, the public got a bunch of hearings and submitted nearly half a million comments.
Now, in 2013, more than four years after the coal ash disaster in Tennessee — not the first nor the last, mind you, just the one with the most media exposure — coal ash is still not regulated at the federal level, and only some states regulated it … and some more than others.
In the meantime, Congress — mostly the U.S. House of Representatives — has been proposing bills and amendments that would prevent the EPA from regulating coal ash.
So, the Congressional Research Service took a look at their proposed legislation and came back all Whoa, whoa … this isn’t good.
And now this: “Under GOP Pressure, Congressional Research Service said to weigh changes to coal ash report.”
In Alaska, there are regulations on file for coal ash if it is landfill-ed, but most of it is “stored.” As you’ll see in the documentary I’m working on, ADEC doesn’t define what “storage” is much less regulate, monitor or really even notate where all of the piles of coal ash end up in and around Fairbanks, Alaska’s second-largest city.
Day seems settled on the fact that coal ash will soon be regulated, and he wants to be prepared for the business opportunity that should follow. However, he may already be too late to cash-in since Usibelli — the owner of the state’s only mine and two of the six coal plants in the state (not counting UAF’s, the rest are on military bases), have announced their own plans for coal ash: The family-owned company is planning to create its own permitted landfill.