Monday, August 9, 2010

Coal Ash - it is TOXIC

Recently the three men who represent the Shenandoah Valley in Congress, Senator Mark Warner, Senator Jim Webb, and Representative Bob Goodlatte signed factually inaccurate letters pressuring EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to regulate toxic coal ash the same way as household trash, leaving communities at risk as arsenic, lead and mercury seep into our drinking water.

Coal and coal ash is dirty stuff and our "representatives" are siding with King Coal against our families' and communities' health. I sent the following email to each:
I am disappointed that you added your name to a factually inaccurate letter that puts coal company profits before the health of our families and our communities. Americans across the country are exposed to heavy metals such as arsenic, lead and mercury that seep into our drinking water, rivers and streams from coal ash disposal sites. There is an increased risk of cancer, learning disabilities, birth defects and other illnesses.

But the disposal of coal ash is less strictly controlled than household garbage. The letter that Senator Warner, Senator Webb, and Representative Goodlatte signed interferes with the EPA's ability to protect our health by pressuring the agency to reject plans for a strong, federally enforceable standard. The letter urges the agency to adopt guidelines that allow coal companies to continue putting our communities at risk.

The letter you signed makes false claims: that states have effectively regulated coal ash despite the fact that coal ash has contaminated surface water or groundwater in at least 23 states, that EPA documents calling for additional measures to protect public health say further regulation is unnecessary, and that strong regulation would stigmatize coal ash recycling when even the U.S. Green Building Council said there would be no stigma. The facts are that coal ash is a toxic material, and it's time for the EPA to treat it as such. Please support EPA's efforts to protect public health and water quality by removing your name from this letter.
For more information visit the Sierra Club. Please contact Senator Warner, Senator Webb, and Representative Goodlatte and tell them to reject the dirty dogs that run in the pack with King Coal.

No comments: