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Pa. DEP Secretary Says Coal Ash is Not "Hazardous Waste"

Scott Detrow / StateImpact Pennsylvania

DEP Secretary Michael Krancer (L) and Energy Executive Patrick Henderson compare notes during a July Commission meeting

Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection wants to keep the feds out of regulating coal ash. DEP Secretary Michael Krancer wrote a letter to the Pennsylvania Congressional delegation on Thursday, asking them to vote in favor of a bill that would maintain the status quo, against the wishes of federal environmental regulators.
The Environmental Protection Agency wants to strengthen the regulations for disposing of coal ash by classifying it as either hazardous waste, or solid waste. Currently, coal ash is regulated like municipal garbage. The Washington Post reports today that House Republicans have pushed through the bill, but it’s unlikely to go far in the Democratic controlled Senate.
In a press release, Secretary
Krancer said the EPA’s approach is “misguided.”

“Jumping the gun to regulate coal ash as hazardous waste would actually be environmentally detrimental,” Krancer said. “We have particular concern on that front here in Pennsylvania, since it would block the use of coal ash for beneficial reuse for such uses as, among other things, abandoned mine reclamation and acid mine drainage remediation.”

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