Contact Your Representatives in Congress
If you think that we need strong coal ash protections, and realize that state agencies alone won’t do the job, then take a few minutes to send a letter or email to your legislators in Washington.
Dear [Senator or Representative Name],
Coal ash is polluting waters across the country, yet nothing is being done to protect communities exposed to dangerous toxic chemicals. In the Southeast alone there are 450 impoundments holding roughly 118 billion gallons of the toxic waste; that’s enough to cover 300,000 football fields a foot deep! The majority of these coal ash impoundments are unlined, located close to waterways, and have been found to leach toxic heavy metals into ground and surface water.
Time and again since the devastating 2008 Kingston coal ash disaster, Congress has attempted to move bills that are industry handouts disguised as coal ash cleanup efforts. They lack enforceable deadlines to permit or close dangerous and leaking coal ash dumps, they contain weak cleanup standards, and include permanent bans on EPA’s ability to set federally enforceable safeguards. By ignoring the need for federal safety standards to ensure that coal ash lagoons are properly lined and safe from failure, we will do absolutely nothing to prevent another large-scale disaster like the collapse of the Kingston coal ash impoundment, which spilled one billion gallons of toxic coal ash, flooded a nearby community and destroyed 300 acres and two dozen homes.
This year we may see more efforts to pass legislation such as H.R. 2273 and S.3512, which the Congressional Research Service’s analysis found lacking in a clear purpose and would not ensure state adoption and implementation of standards “necessary to protect human health and the environment.” Bills like these move us further away from strong, federally enforceable safeguards against this toxic menace and threaten EPA’s essential authority to protect Americans from toxic waste.
I urge you to stand up for our health and environment. Protect communities and our drinking water from toxic coal ash by opposing weak, pro-coal industry coal ash bills and any other effort to delay or weaken EPA’s efforts to clean up coal ash. Please be a champion of legislation that would truly protect at-risk communities from coal ash pollutants like arsenic, lead, selenium, mercury and more that are poisoning the waters we drink.