FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
October 10, 2011
Contact: Alex Wall,
**View the Report Card: http://www.sierraclub.org/coal/reportcard/**
Sierra Club Releases Clean Water Voting
Anti-Clean Water Vote Expected This Week
Washington, D.C. – Today the
Sierra Club released a clean
water voting record for
the U.S. House of Representatives, in time for an expected floor vote this week
on a bill that would block the Environmental Protection Agency from protecting
communities from toxic coal ash. Coal ash is a dangerous solid waste by-product
of burning coal, containing mercury, arsenic, hexavalent chromium and lead. There are more than 130 cases of coal ash
contaminating communities across the country.
interactive, online report card issues letter grades for U.S. Representatives’
voting records on clean water issues.
“Coal ash is toxic and harms public health,” said Michael
Brune, Executive Director of the Sierra Club. “Unbelievably, toxic coal ash currently has
no federal safeguards, but the health and environmental risks from coal ash
dumping include cancer,
neurological disorders, birth defects, reproductive failure, asthma and other
serious illnesses. This anti-clean water
bill from Rep. McKinley would perpetuate the status quo by putting a scheme in
place that is less protective than standards for disposing of household
garbage, leaving our communities in danger of toxic coal ash pollution.”
Coal Residuals Reuse and Management Act (H.R. 2273), introduced by W. Va.
Congressman David McKinley, would endanger the health and safety of thousands
of communities. The bill, which is
expected for a floor this week, would:
indefinite operation of dangerous ash ponds like the one that dumped more than
a billion gallons of coal ash sludge in Tennessee in December of 2008;
citizens who live near coal ash dump sites any federal right to notice,
comment, and a public hearing when new sites are proposed for construction or
old ones are expanded; and
the EPA from enforcing disposal standards, even at contaminated coal ash sites.
This latest threat is part of an
unprecedented attack on clean water from this Congress. Instead of protecting communities from
well-known and dangerous contaminates in our waters, some members of Congress
have chosen to rollback or completely stop common sense safeguards.
View the Sierra Club’s new Clean Water
Report Card Here.