Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson voted today for legislation to provide balance to EPA’s proposed coal ash regulations. H.R. 2218, the Coal Residuals Reuse and Management Act, would ensure that any regulation of coal ash is reasonable and preserves states’ rights. The bill passed by a vote of 265-155.
Coal ash is the byproduct of coal combustion and is used to create roads, bridges, and buildings. It is also regularly recycled and used in construction materials. The EPA has promulgated rules to regulate coal ash, even though it is currently regulated by the states.
“I’m concerned that EPA’s proposed rules would severely limit the availability of coal ash for construction uses and would greatly curtail recycling efforts, ultimately driving up energy costs,” said Simpson. “That being said, I do believe that reasonable regulations should be in place regarding coal ash, which is why I support H.R. 2218. Rather than creating a new and unneeded regulatory system, H.R. 2218 utilizes an existing federal regulatory program as the basis for enforcing federal standards for coal ash, but it leaves regulation and enforcement to the states, where it belongs.”
The bill is now under consideration by the U.S. Senate.