Simpson Votes to Protect States’ Rights from EPA
Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson voted this week for legislation to bring certainty under EPA’s recently finalized coal ash regulations. H.R. 1734, the Improving Coal Combustion Residuals Regulation Act of 2015, would put states in charge of implementing coal ash regulation in order to ensure that public health and the environment are protected while states’ rights are preserved. The bill passed by a vote of 258-166.
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 finalized a rule to regulate coal ash in April. Under H.R. 1734, states would have the authority to implement a coal ash permit program, with EPA implementing a permit program for states that choose not to establish their own.
“While I am concerned about the practical implementation of EPA’s final rule, I do believe that reasonable regulations should be in place regarding coal ash,” said Simpson. “This legislation ensures that human health and the environment are protected without creating a new and unneeded regulatory system, leaving regulation and permitting to the states, where it belongs.”
The bill is now under consideration by the U.S. Senate.