Written by KEF Outreach Coordinator Shelly Biesel as an op-editorial for the Courier-Journal, find the original version here.
Perhaps the most accurate statement regarding the 2015 Government Spending Bill came from Sen. John McCain, who was quoted saying "it's jammed full of sh--." The "cromnibus" bill appropriates $1.01 trillion, and will keep most government offices in operation through September. Though House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers called the bill "a win for Kentucky," it depends on how you look at it. Personally, the bill makes me uneasy. Here's why:
Written by KEF Health Coordinator Deborah Payne as an op-ed for the Lexington Herald-Leader; find the original op-ed here.
It was Christmas time in 2008 when the wall of a coal combustion waste impoundment pond collapsed, inundating Kingston, Tenn., with over 1 billion gallons of toxic sludge.
Last month, almost six years later, the Environmental Protection Agency released a long-awaited rule on the classification and management of coal combustion waste, or coal ash, the byproduct that results when coal is burned to produce electricity.
The development of the rule involved an extended series of public hearings, a comment period and then a long wait — over two years — to hear how new federal policies would impact the way we manage coal ash. Health advocates hoped for better storage practices, a classification as a toxic waste and federal oversight.
And the verdict is in: Industry will remain in charge of its own practices, which means, without much oversight things may roll on with "business as usual."
Article written by Bill Estep for the Lexington Herald-Leader. Find the original story here.
The state has proposed new permitting rules for coal mines aimed at resolving the concerns of federal environmental authorities who have objected to dozens of new or expanded surface mines in Eastern Kentucky.
State officials say the new rules strengthen protection for streams in the region, but environmental groups argue the provisions still don’t go far enough.
For its part, the coal industry has concerns about some of the regulations, but supports moving forward with them as a way to potentially break the stalemate over permits between the state and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, an adviser to the Kentucky Coal Association said.
The standards at issue, which make up what is called the general permit for coal, govern discharges of water from mines and processing facilities into streams.
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