Senate Bill 1751 on coal ash

Coal ash is the toxic by-product of coal-fired power plants and is filled with dangerous heavy metals, such as mercury and arsenic. Many high-hazard coal ash dams dot the Appalachian region including twelve in North Carolina, two in Tennessee, four in West Virginia, and seven in Kentucky.

S.1751 would prevent the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from providing minimum scientific standards, leaving the regulation of these dangerous dams to often cash-strapped and overburdened state agencies.

Make your voice heard: ask your Senators to oppose S. 1751 and any other efforts that would prevent the EPA from protecting our water from arsenic and other pollutants found in coal ash.

To build opposition to S.1751, we need signatures on a letter that we are delivering to the Senate from folks living around coal ash dump sites. We are asking for folks who live near an ash dump or in a community effected by one or threatened by a proposed dump to sign this letter

We are delivering this letter to the Senate next Tuesday, December 13. We have approximately 1,800 signatures on it, but sorely need more from North Carolina, Virginia, Florida, Colorado, Montana and Alaska whose Democratic senators are all undecided on S. 1751. In fact, more signatures from any other states will help us demonstrate widespread opposition to S.1751 from Americans who live near coal ash dump sites that are so inadequately regulated if regulated at all.

There is a very real danger of this bill passing and stopping EPA’s rulemaking on coal ash for good. The last time I checked, five Democrats, Conrad (ND), Manchin and Rockefeller (WV), Nelson (NE), and Landrieu (LA), had cosponsored it along with at least that many Republicans. While the Senate Leadership (Reid and Boxer) are firmly opposed to S.1751, the utilities are lobbying all undecided Senators intensely. So the concern is that if enough Democrats sign on to cosponsor S.1751 or at least indicate they won’t oppose it, we may not have enough votes to keep S.1751 from being added on to a funding bill (even if its not germane) much less stopping it from passing the Senate if it has strong Republican backing. If that happens, given the wide margin that H.R. 2273 cleared the House (with more than a few democrats supporting it), President Obama may be hard pressed to veto it. He issued a clear Statement of Opposition to HR 2273 but did not say he would veto it.

So this makes it crucially important for as many folks as possible to be contacting their Senators to request their opposition to S.1751.

sign this letter

For more info on Senate bill s-1751