Posted by: Lawyer Sanders | January 5, 2011

Kentucky environmental attorney Sanders says three groups find serious fault with US EPA regulatory cost analysis of proposed coal ash regulations.

Coal ash is a combustion by-product generated by burning coal to create electricity.  America power plants generate enormous amounts of coal ash each year. Normally, coal ash is dumped into large ponds that are located adjacent to the power plant. Water in the ponds keeps coal ash wet so the ash will not blow in the wind.

Because coal ash contains a lot of heavy metals, which are toxic to humans, U.S. EPA is currently considering whether to regulate coal ash as a special hazardous waste or, whether to manage it as a nonhazardous waste.   EPA published two different proposed rules last year.

When EPA prepared a cost-benefit analysis to estimate the financial impact of the two different rules, the agency apparently overestimated the benefits of recycling coal ash and underestimated the benefits of safe disposal. Three environmental groups are now charging that EPA skewed the numbers to favor a more liberal disposal rule for coal ash, as a non-hazardous waste. 

Here is the groups’ analysis of the regulatory impacts of the two rules [pdf] by the nonprofit Environmental Integrity Project, Earthjustice and the Stockholm Environment Institute’s U.S. Center at Tufts University.  

Jeffrey M. Sanders PLLC has more than 20 years experience in environmental law matters. We work with a number of other outside law firms representing lenders, borrowers, real estate developers, corporations, and insurance companies on a variety of environmental law issues. The legal issues range from regulatory compliance, risk evaluation, risk avoidance, and enforcement issues.  It is a highly complex and specialized area of the law that demands a high degree of legal expertise and experience.


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