This morning's Intelligencer editorial on coal ash tells us why we need local Representative David McKinley's proposal to limit the EPA's oversight of coal ash. The editorial gives the reader the impression that coal ash is just a harmless byproduct of the use of coal by electric plants. (Hey, it's "used in a variety of products, including drywall and concrete"and so it must be safe.) Nowhere in the editorial is there any mention of its harmful effects. (For descriptions of the problems caused by coal ash, simply google "harms of coal ash.") One of the best sources that I found is "Coal Ash: Hazardous to Human Health" by Physicians for Social Responsibility. Another excellent source for information on the subject is the Earthjustice website.
In addition to news coverage and information, Earthjustice also produces short videos. Here is their most recent video on the topic:
Another outstanding Earthjustice video that brings the problem home is "Little Blue"which is about the deleterious effects that coal ash has had on the environment in the northern-most area of West Virginia's northern panhandle. (I've referenced this video in previous posts on this subject.)
The sad irony is that Little Blue is located inside McKinley's congressional district.
McKinley's bill would have major environmental effects. As Frank Holleman who is Senior Attorney at the Southern Environmental Law Center has noted:
Rep. David McKinley's bill would dismantle the EPA’s recently announced coal ash protections, put public health and safety at risk by stripping the few critical safety requirements and protections included in the rule, and result in continuing coal ash contamination with no repercussions or responsibility for cleanup.
A final note/question -- the Intelligencer's editorial once again tells us the success that McKinley has had fighting the EPA: "After McKinley exposed the absurdity of the EPA's plan, the agency backed away." This is the third time in the last year that the Intelligencer has asserted this point and after considerable research I have yet to find anything that the EPA backed away from because of David McKinley. As I have asked previously, does anyone know what EPA plan the Intelligencer is talking about or is the Intelligencer giving him credit where credit isn't due?