PARKERSBURG - A bill aimed at preventing the Environmental Protection Agency from classifying coal ash as a hazardous waste was passed Wednesday by the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
The committee approved the Coal Residuals Reuse and Management Act of 2013, House Resolution 2218, proposed by Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va., by a vote of 31 to 16. The legislation passed the Republican-controlled House four times in 2011 and 2012, but was never taken up by the Senate where Democrats are the majority.
Coal ash is a byproduct of the coal combustion process and is used in concrete and many other products. Dozens of government and private organizations, ranging from the Environmental Council of States to labor unions, support the safe use of coal ash.