Keep In Coal Ash
(Metro News 6-25-2012) The Congressman for West Virginia's First District says a provision dealing with the continued use of coal ash in concrete needs to stay in the federal transportation bill. Members of the Capitol Hill conference committee working on the legislation that will fund U.S. transportation projects over the next two years or five years are reporting some progress for those ongoing talks.
Congressman David McKinley says he wants to make sure the language clearing the way for that coal ash, also called fly ash, to keep being used as a concrete additive for the building of roads and bridges stays in the bill.
"What we're trying to do is maintain, essentially, the status quo," he told MetroNews. "Allow us to continue adding coal ash, fly ash, into our concrete mixtures to keep the costs of construction down." He says the savings could be in the billions.
Coal ash is a byproduct of the coal combustion process.
Regulators with the federal Environmental Protection Agency are considering the possibility of designating coal ash as a toxic material and treating it as such.
Last week in a bipartisan vote, the U.S. House approved a notice to members of that conference committee on the coal ash language. It's the third time the House has attempted to address the issue.
"We wanted them to know the will of the House was, if you're going to negotiate, negotiate on other things. This is something we want to retain," Congressman McKinley said.
The current funding bill for road, bridge and rail projects in the United States expires on Saturday, June 30th.
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