Sens. Boxer and Carper Applaud EPA Plan to Better Assess and Regulate Coal Ash Dangers

Washington, DC – U.S. Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, and Tom Carper (D-DE), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety, today applauded U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson’s announcement that EPA will begin reviews and inspections of all coal ash impoundments in the U.S. and will start the process of issuing rules to regulate coal combustion waste.

The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works held a hearing on the Kingston, Tennessee, coal ash spill immediately after the disaster.  Senator Boxer also raised the Tennessee spill and the potential for similar disasters at other coal ash impoundments nationwide at Administrator Jackson’s confirmation hearing.  On March 4, Senators Boxer and Carper introduced a Senate Resolution (S. Res. 64) calling on EPA to use its authority under existing law to inspect coal combustion waste facilities and begin the rulemaking process under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). 

Senator Boxer said: “The plans EPA Administrator Jackson announced today reflect the measures we included in our Senate resolution last week, and are an important first step toward making sure our families and communities will be protected from toxic coal ash waste in the future.”

Senator Carper, chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety, which has oversight jurisdiction over TVA said: “I am pleased to see our nation’s new EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson is making real environmental improvements in this crucial area by using her authority to regulate the disposal of coal ash waste.  This decision shows the EPA is serious about cleaning up our nation’s dirtiest coal facilities.”