Club Leads Effort to Regulate Coal Combustion Waste in NM

Update 12/2- Members from 15 nation-wide organizations, including the Sierra Club, have sent more than 250,000 letters to the EPA in support of strong controls on Coal Combustion Waste.

Santa Fe – August 6 - Speaking through 13 of New Mexico’s most representative advocacy groups, New Mexicans are asking Governor Richardson to support strong, Federal regulation of Coal Combustion Waste (CCW). New Mexico ranks 10th in the nation for CCW production with an amazing 6.8 million tons dumped from coal fired electric power generation in San Juan and McKinley Counties annually.

In response to the Coal Combustion Waste (CCW) spill at Kingston, Tennessee last year, the EPA is proposing two very different versions of a disposal rule for this high-volume, poison laden material. The proposal offers two options for the rule: regulation of coal ash as a special waste under subtitle C of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) or regulation as a solid waste under subtitle D of RCRA. Subtitle C is a comprehensive regulatory structure for the country while subtitle D offers guidance and leaves implementation and oversight up to each state.

Signed by Amigos Bravos, Audubon New Mexico, Caballo Concerned Citizens, Coalition for Clean Affordable Energy, Dooda Desert Rock, EARTHWORKS Oil & Gas Accountability Project, Environment New Mexico, Gila Resources Information Project, New Mexico Conference of Churches, Sierra Club – Rio Grande Chapter, San Juan Citizens Alliance, Southwest Environmental Center and WildEarth Guardians; the letter delivered to the Governor today asks for his support of the more meaningful Federal regulation. Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter Chair John Buchser voiced strong support for the RCRA subtitle C option. "New Mexico communities continue to be threatened with arsenic, selenium, and other pollutants from unsafe storage of coal ash. New Mexicans and all Americans deserve better protection for their water and air. Subtitle C would give would give us all strong protection from the air and water pollution created by waste from coal-fired electrical generation" Buchser emphasized.

Coal Waste
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