Thursday, February 20, 2020

ECOS representative supports state-based coal ash management

A representative of the Environmental Council of the States (ECOS) recently announced his support for a bill that would set up a state-based regulatory program to ensure the safe management and disposal of coal ash.

David Paylor, director of the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and past president of ECOS, told members of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment that the draft legislation does a good job of dealing with the issues ECOS pointed out in its January testimony.

“The draft bill leverages and codifies the extensive technical work in EPA’s final rule, which will enhance impoundment structural integrity provisions, promote transparency, and close environmentally degrading facilities,” Paylor said.

The draft legislation was put forward by Rep. David McKinley (R-WV) and would incorporate the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) final coal ash rule announced in December. It would also let states determine how to put the EPA standards in place.

Paylor said an important part of the draft bill enables states that already have a program to start using it.

“This is important because many states already have existing programs, and EPA modeled its final rule on the best of those programs,” Paylor said. “A recent survey of states by the Association of State and Territorial Solid Waste Management Officials indicated that 36 states, including Virginia, have permitting programs for disposal activities, with 94 percent of those requiring groundwater monitoring.”

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Environmental Council of the States

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