CRS to Redraft Report Critical of Coal Ash Legislation

(POWERnews 02-07-2013) Criticism from Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.) and Rep. David McKinley (R-W.V.) has reportedly prompted the Congressional Research Service (CRS) to revise a December 2012 report in which it found coal ash bills sponsored by the lawmakers would not guarantee the protection of human health and the environment.
 
The House in October 2011 passed the Coal Residuals Reuse and Management Act (H.R. 2273), a bill that would amend Subtitle D of the Solid Waste Disposal Act (more commonly referred to as the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act [RCRA]), by adding Section 4011, Management and Disposal of Coal Combustion Residuals. Sponsored by Sen. Hoeven and others, the Coal Ash Recycling and Oversight Act of 2012 (S.3512) was introduced in the Senate on Aug. 2, 2012. Both bills would essentially create a state-implemented permit program that would manage the disposal of coal combustion residuals.
 
But in an analysis released by the CRS in December, Congress’ nonpartisan research arm found that the bills would not ensure state adoption and implementation of standards “necessary to protect human health and the environment” because they provide “no federal backstop authority to implement federal standards comparable to its authorities established under other environmental law, including RCRA.”
 
Following complaints made by the congressmen that the report was biased, the CRS said it would revise the report.
 
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