Reps. Waxman and Tonko Release New Analysis of Flawed Coal Ash Legislation

Congressional Research Service Finds Bill Continues to Omit Key Public Protections
Jun 18, 2013

Today Rep. Henry A. Waxman and Rep Paul D. Tonko released a new Congressional Research Service analysis of coal ash legislation that will soon be considered by the Energy and Commerce Committee.

“This analysis shows that this seriously flawed bill will leave public health and the environment unprotected," said Rep. Waxman.  "Congress should reject this ill-considered proposal.” 

"This legislation will preserve the status quo in the states, which is the wrong direction for our environmental policy,” said Rep. Tonko.  “Vague language in H.R. 2218 leaves the application of this legislation too open to interpretation, and provides no assurance of safety to the communities located near these facilities.  It is my hope that the committee will reconsider their path forward and work to establish a law that protects public health.”

According to the Congressional Research Service analysis, the coal ash legislation, H.R. 2218, deviates from other federal laws in the following serious ways:

  • Fails to contain any minimum federal requirement to protect health and the environment;
  • Fails to establish minimum national safeguards;
  • Fails to establish federal backstop authority; and,
  • Fails to define what facilities the bill applies to.

The Committee will convene today at 4:00 p.m. in 2123 Rayburn House Office Building for markup opening statements only.  It will reconvene on Wednesday, June 19, 2013, at 10:00 a.m. in 2123 Rayburn House Office Building to markup the legislation.  Additional information about the markup is available online here.