WASHINGTON - A coal ash bill introduced by a West Virginia representative was reported out of a subcommittee on Thursday.
The Coal Residuals Reuse and Management Act of 2013, House Resolution 2218 introduced by U.S. Rep. David B. McKinley, R-W.Va., was passed out of a subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. It now goes to the full committee for consideration.
The act would give states the authority to set standards for disposing of and handling fly ash with oversight by the Environmental Protection Agency.
"Two months ago, this subcommittee held a hearing on this issue to listen to EPA and other stakeholders regarding the coal ash legislation," McKinley said.
Fly ash, a byproduct of burning coal, is used in making construction materials such as wallboard and concrete blocks. The EPA wants to designate it as a hazardous waste.
McKinley's legislation is similar to legislation passed with provisions crafted by the Senate during the last Congress. Prior coal ash legislation proposed by McKinley passed the House in 2011, but was never taken up by the Senate.
"Given that there is a consensus about the beneficial reuse of the 40 percent portion that is recycled, the argument has been on how to handle and dispose of the remaining 60 percent," McKinley said.