WASHINGTON, D.C. – By a bipartisan vote of 258 to 166, the U.S. House of Representatives today passed legislation that will promote continued recycling of coal ash. PCA considers this to be good for both the environment and the economy.
The “Improving Coal Combustion Residuals Regulation Act of 2015,” (H.R. 1734), sponsored by Rep. David McKinley, (R-WV), codifies a recent decision by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate coal ash under the 'solid waste' provisions of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.
Coal ash, a byproduct of coal-fired power plants, has been successfully recycled into concrete for decades, and actually improves the durability of concrete. Proposals had been made to treat this ash as a hazardous waste, which would have curtailed, if not completely stopped, recycling. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently decided that coal ash should for the time being not be regulated as a hazardous waste, but there has been uncertainty that this position could change.
“Every year we recycle more than 17 million tons of coal ash into concrete,” said James G. Toscas, president and CEO of the Portland Cement Association. “We look at this as a great success story: less waste into landfills, less cost, and better concrete. This is a classic case of U.S. industries working together to benefit both the environment and the economy. EPA did the right thing in preserving the rules that allow this recycling, and the House did the right thing in ensuring that they continue to be preserved.”
PCA represents America's cement manufacturers and has been a widely-recognized authority on the technology, economics, and applications of cement and concrete for nearly 100 years. PCA is a vocal advocate for sustainability, economic growth, sound infrastructure investment, and overall innovation and excellence in construction. More information on PCA is available at www.cement.org.
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