Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Coal Ash, Keystone XL Dropped from Transportation Bill

Energy

EcoWatch

Watauga Riverkeeper Donna Lisenby takes water samples on December 27, 2008 while paddling between giant ash bergs created by the 1 billion gallon TVA Kingston coal ash spill into the Emory River in Tennessee. Photo credit: John Wathen, Hurricane Creekkeper.

In the eleventh hour during negotiations on the transportation bill on June 27, language requiring approval of the Keystone XL pipeline and barring the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulation of coal ash waste was dropped.

The Keystone XL rider would have mandated approval of this unnecessary and dangerous tar sands pipeline that would threaten the nation's largest aquifer that supplies one-third of the U.S. irrigated farmland and drinking water for millions of Americans. Had the provision remained in the House Republican backed bill, it would have required the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to approve the pipeline within 30 days from receiving an application from TransCanada Corp.

The coal ash rider would have put communities at risk from the toxic solid waste leftover after coal is burned. Currently there are no federal standards for disposing of coal ash. On June 27, the EPA released information revealing the existence of hundreds of previously unknown coal ash dumps nationwide. The data released by the EPA reveal that there are at least 451 more coal ash ponds than previously acknowledged—significantly increasing the known threat from coal ash. The information comes pursuant to a Freedom of Information Act request by Environmental Integrity Project and Earthjustice.

"Ever since I collected the first water samples from the Kingston Coal Ash disaster in 2008 I have seen firsthand the toxicity of coal ash on waterways and communities across America," said Donna Lisenby, Watauga Riverkeeper.

"Coal ash should be regulated as a hazardous waste because it is full of heavy metals. Getting the coal ash rider removed from the transportation bill  is a major victory for clean water. The EPA should be allowed to properly regulate this toxic waste without further legislative interference. Waterkeepers send our thanks to members of Congress who acted to protect drinking water and human health today. We sincerely appreciate your efforts because many of our communities need strong coal ash regulations now," Lisenby said.

Visit EcoWatch’s COAL page for more related news on this topic.

 

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Oregano oil is an extract that is not as strong as the essential oil, but appears to be useful both when consumed or applied to the skin. Peakpx / CC by 1.0

By Alexandra Rowles

Oregano is a fragrant herb that's best known as an ingredient in Italian food.

However, it can also be concentrated into an essential oil that's loaded with antioxidants and powerful compounds that have proven health benefits.

Read More Show Less
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro meets Ronaldo Caiado, governor of the state of Goiás on June 5, 2020. Palácio do Planalto / CC BY 2.0

Far-right Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who has presided over the world's second worst coronavirus outbreak after the U.S., said Tuesday that he had tested positive for the virus.

Read More Show Less
Although natural gas produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants than coal or oil, it is a major contributor to climate change, an urgent global problem. Skitterphoto / PIxabay

By Emily Grubert

Natural gas is a versatile fossil fuel that accounts for about a third of U.S. energy use. Although it produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants than coal or oil, natural gas is a major contributor to climate change, an urgent global problem. Reducing emissions from the natural gas system is especially challenging because natural gas is used roughly equally for electricity, heating, and industrial applications.

Read More Show Less
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved two Lysol products as the first to effectively kill the novel coronavirus on surfaces, based on laboratory testing. Paul Hennessy / NurPhoto via Getty Images

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently issued a list of 431 products that are effective at killing viruses when they are on surfaces. Now, a good year for Lysol manufacturer Reckitt Benckiser just got better when the EPA said that two Lysol products are among the products that can kill the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

Read More Show Less
U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez unveils the Green New Deal resolution in front of the U.S. Capitol on February 7, 2019 in Washington, DC. Alex Wong / Getty Images

By Judith Lewis Mernit

For all its posturing on climate change, the Democratic Party has long been weak on the actual policies we need to save us from extinction. President Barack Obama promised his presidency would mark "the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow," and then embraced natural gas, a major driver of global temperature rise, as a "bridge fuel." Climate legislation passed in the House in 2009 would have allowed industries to buy credits to pollute, a practice known to concentrate toxic air in black and brown neighborhoods while doing little to cut emissions.

Read More Show Less
About 30,000 claims contending that Roundup caused non-Hodgkin's lymphoma are currently unsettled. Mike Mozart / CC BY 2.0

Bayer's $10 billion settlement to put an end to roughly 125,000 lawsuits against its popular weed killer Roundup, which contains glyphosate, hit a snag this week when a federal judge in San Francisco expressed skepticism over what rights future plaintiffs would have, as the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Hundreds of sudden elephant deaths in Botswana aren't just a loss for the ecosystem and global conservation efforts. Mario Micklisch / Flickr / CC by 2.0

By Charli Shield

When an elephant dies in the wild, it's not uncommon to later find its bones scattered throughout the surrounding landscape.

Read More Show Less