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The Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming addressed our nation's energy, economic and national security challenges during the 110th and 111th Congresses.

This is an archived version of the committee's website, where the public, students and the media can continue to access and learn from our work.

Markey: Obama Coal Ash Rule Will Plug Regulatory Leaks

Markey Exchange with EPA Paved Way to Decision

WASHINGTON (March 9, 2009) – Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), who chairs key energy and environment panels in the House, today praised the announcement by President Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency that they would seek to regulate how toxic coal sludge is managed at dozens of sites across the country. In late December, 2008, an earthen dam holding millions of cubic yards of coal byproducts at a Kingston, TN coal facility owned by the Tennessee Valley Authority.

"President Obama and his environmental officials are thankfully plugging these regulatory leaks on coal byproducts," said Rep. Markey. "We shouldn’t wait for another dam to break before taking concrete action to shore up these coal sites."

Rep. Markey, who chairs the Energy and Environment Subcommittee, which has jurisdiction over EPA, wrote to former EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson in January, 2009, asking about the lack of regulation of coal byproducts. The Obama administration’s EPA responded in mid-February that they did have the authority to regulate, paving the way for today’s announcement.

The January letter to the EPA from Chairman Markey can be found by clicking here.

The February response from the EPA can be found by clicking here.

In the January letter, Rep. Markey noted that, according to the EPA, at least 63 sites in 26 states existed where water was contaminated by dangerous heavy metals that had leached out of coal byproduct repositories. Coal sludge contains many heavy metals like arsenic and other toxic substances that can lead to cancer, birth defects and ecosystem damage.

PLEASE NOTE: The House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming was created to explore American clean energy solutions that end our reliance on foreign oil and reduce carbon pollution.

The Select Committee was active during the 110th and 111th Congresses. This is an archived version of the website, to ensure that the public has ongoing access to the Select Committee record. This website, including external links, will not be updated after Jan. 3rd, 2010.

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