U.S. Rep. Barletta praises coal ash provisions in water infrastructure bill

Published on December 12, 2016 by Daily Energy Insider Reports

U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA) praised the recent House passage of the the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act (WIIN), legislation that enables states to develop their own enforcement programs for coal ash recycling and disposal.

Barletta supported the legislation and has advocated for addressing the disposal of coal ash.  Coal ash is a byproduct of coal combustion and has been classified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as non-hazardous material.

“Our region of Pennsylvania was built on the coal industry, and the resulting coal ash has always presented an environmental challenge and an opportunity for job creation,” Barletta said.  “By providing certainty in the regulation of coal ash, we are being both stewards of the environment and protectors of economic development.  Pennsylvanians have been dealing with this issue for decades, and we know better how to manage it than federal government bureaucrats in Washington, D.C.”

The WIIN Act addresses critical infrastructure improvements to the U.S. waterway system that contributes to the nation’s economic growth. The legislation also includes provisions to improve  drinking water infrastructure as well as flood protection projects.

The bill also addresses the control of coal combustion residuals, delivering water to drought-stricken communities, and addressing dam maintenance backlogs.

The legislation is now being considered by the Senate.

In 2015, Barletta co-sponsored the Improving Coal Combustion Residuals Regulation Act of 2015, which set guidelines for the use of coal ash in concrete and drywall products. That bill also clarified EPA rules and regulations for coal ash preservation. Manufacturers use coal ash for various building material, which supports 316,000 jobs nationally.