Sens. Boxer and Carper Call for EPA Inspections and TVA Reform in Wake of Tennessee Coal Ash Spill

Washington, DC – U.S. Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, and Thomas Carper (D-DE), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety, today introduced a Senate Resolution calling on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to conduct immediate reviews and inspections of all coal ash impoundments in the U.S. and to propose and issue as quickly as possible rules to regulate coal combustion waste under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).


The Resolution (S. Res. 64) also calls on the Tennessee Valley Authority to “meet the intentions of Congress and be ‘a national leader in technological innovation, low-cost power, and environmental stewardship.’”


Senator Boxer said: “The Kingston coal ash spill is an ongoing tragedy that must not be repeated, and we have the laws on the books to act now.  Senator Carper and I introduced this resolution to underscore the point that the law already gives EPA the tools it needs protect communities from dangerous coal ash impoundments.  EPA has taken the first steps to increase its oversight of TVA’s impoundments and other facilities, and we look forward to a comprehensive proposal to address this serious threat to communities throughout the country.”


Senator Carper, chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety, which has oversight jurisdiction over TVA said: “We cannot afford to have another tragedy like the recent TVA ash spill that threatened public health and safety.  The time has come for the Environmental Protection Agency to give industry the guidelines it needs to safely store this hazardous waste. I look forward to working with the EPA and our EPW Chairman Boxer to ensure we get the right ash waste regulations in place and soon.”