Just yesterday, in Legislative Hall, we heard an absurd proposal to “process” coal ash in an incinerator in the City of Wilmington.Â (Again, per usual, this nutty idea is promoted by “Clean Air Council.”)Â The promoters, Palmetto Energy Group, said they want to melt it and make “decorative tiles.”
Action to regulate coal ash as the hazardous waste it really is, is being blocked by lobbying at the White House (Office of Management and Budget) level.Â Many examples can be found on the OMB website, including repeated meetings including representatives of DuPont.
We did not see any examples of public health agencies asserting the priority of human health, but there could be some.
The Alert below is from the Environmental Integrity Project.
Please take action!Â Also send an email to Collin O’Mara, head of Delaware DNREC.Â Ask DNREC to stop opposing reform of coal ash management and support phasing out the burning of coal in Delaware.
TODAY is our National Coal Ash Day of Action -Â please ask the White House to allow the US EPA to finally regulate coal ash as the hazardous waste it is. Currently, coal ash is less regulated than household trash!Â This toxic waste stream has never been regulated and that must change, now.
Below are instruction for joining in TODAY’S action — we ask that you take a small amount of time out of your day to let the White House and EPA know that this is an issue that needs action now. PLEASE do not let this opportunity for change slip away.
1.Â Please send an email to President Obama:Â http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact
Fill out the form provided at this White House link (see above), including the space for your personal comments – tell President Obama:
America has waited far too long for comprehensive protections against toxic coal ash threats to our health and our water. Industry should not be allowed to flex its lobbying muscles and stand in the way of better health and a cleaner environment.
Despite the known threats to our health and environment, coal ash dumps remain unregulated by the US EPA. A deadline to propose the first-ever national coal ash regulations by the end of 2009 has been missed.
Please instruct the US EPA to regulate coal ash as a hazardous waste and use the full extent of the law to protect our health and environment. Coal and power industry lobbyists are pressuring your Administration to scale back plans to propose the strongest safeguards. Lobbyists are using power and influence to misinform and misguide federal regulators.
President Obama, you promised you would put an end to the influence of special interests – and we call upon you, now, to fulfill that promise to all Americans.
2.Â Call the White House:
- Comments: 202-456-1111 – leave a message
- Switchboard: 202-456-1414 – talk to an operator
- FAX: 202-456-2461
Here is a sample script that you can use when calling the White House (202-456-1414):
“Hello. My name is [first and last name], and I’m calling from [city, state] to ask that coal ash be immediately regulated as hazardous waste.”
“I’m very concerned that coal ash dumps remain unregulated by the EPA, and that a deadline to propose the first ever national coal ash regulations by the end of 2009 has been missed.”
“I’m asking for federal regulations that use the full extent of the law to protect our health and environment from coal ash ponds and landfills.”
[Additionally, you can include one or more of the following:]
“I’m especially concerned about coal ash, because:”
- Coal ash contains dangerous pollution like arsenic, lead, selenium, mercury and other toxins that can cause cancer and lung disease, damage internal organs and nervous systems, and cause developmental problems in babies and young children.
- The EPA estimates there are nearly 600 coal ash ponds in 35 states–and just as many landfills. These huge dump sites contain enough coal ash to flow continuously over Niagara Falls for 3 days straight!
- The EPA has said it planned to regulate coal ash by the end of 2009, but did not meet that deadline. Now coal ash regulations are being delayed by industry lobbyists pushing for less federal oversight.
- Coal ash spills have occurred far too often. In April 2000, drinking water wells in Town of Pines, IN, were poisoned with arsenic, boron and other pollutants from coal ash ponds.
- In November 2007, Constellation Energy settled with residents of Gambrills, MD for $54 million for poisoning water supplies with dangerous pollutants.
- State coal ash rules are often grossly inadequate and ineffective. Federal protections are needed to guarantee strong, equal safeguards for public health and the environment across the U.S.
- Coal ash is hazardous waste that should be regulated under the strongest provisions of the law.
3.Â SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT COAL ASH – AND THE NEED FOR FEDERAL REGULATIONS:
Share this Action Alert with your family and friends … neighbors and co-workers — we need and deserve federal protections from toxic coal ash.Â Let’s send a message to President Obama – we seek the fulfillment of his promise for hope, change and a government free from the influence from special interests.
Thanks for standing with us on this important day … and for standing up for protections for all!
Lisa Graves Marcucci
Environmental Integrity Project