State Officials Warn OMB about Cost of Regulating Coal Ash as Hazardous

Date: January 22, 2010

Source: News Room

Various state officials and their associations are lobbying the White House Office of Management & Budget (OMB) about the cost impacts they would face if EPA's proposed coal ash rule declares some forms of the ash as hazardous under a "hybrid" approach. The concern is it would tax limited state resources, environmental regulators and hinder the use of coal ash in road-building. It is unusual for state groups to go directly to OMB, particularly before EPA has actually proposed a rule, but OMB has accepted numerous meetings with the American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials (AASHTO), representing state DOTs, the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Association of State & Territorial Solid Waste Management Officials (ASTSWMO). The groups have also sent letters to EPA and the Department of Transportation (DOT) outlining their concerns, especially that a sometimes hazardous waste classification of coal ash would mean that millions more tons of material would have to be stored, handled and managed more carefully by environmental regulators under already-strained state budgets. They also contend that it could also adversely impact state transportation officials' ability to use the ash in concrete for road-building.

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