Environmental Integrity Project, Earthjustice, Sierra Club: 45 coal ash dump site neighbors from nine states, including Wisconsin, to visit D.C. to meet with members of Congress, Obama administration to press for “common sense” safeguards

Coal Ash Issue Pending at EPA and Is Major Issue in Possible Government Shutdown

WISCONSIN NEWS ADVISORY — More than 40 Americans from nine states – Wisconsin, Virginia, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Maryland, Indiana, Illinois, and West Virginia – will go to Washington, D.C. next week to tell their stories of living near coal ash dumps to their elected officials and EPA, OMB, and CEQ administrators and press for action to deal with health problems and environmental water contamination from coal-ash disposal ponds, landfills and other dump sites. Their collective goal will be to ask elected officials for a strong, federally enforceable coal ash rule that provides minimum standards applicable in all 50 states, and one that requires the eventual phase out of coal ash ponds, which leach high levels of toxic pollutants into water sources.

Nearly two and a half years after the catastrophic TVA spill in Kingston, TN of over 1 billion gallons of coal ash, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson has still not delivered on her 2009 promise to draft new coal ash regulations. The 40+ Americans visiting Capitol Hill and Administration leaders next week all have homes, property, family members or friends and their personal health at stake. They believe strongly that there is no reason why a final rule cannot be published in 2011.

Jeff Stant of Environmental Integrity Project, which is hosting the coal ash citizens in Washington, D.C., said, “Members of Congress and the Obama Administration need to be reminded of what can happen when safety issues at coal ash dump sites are ignored for long periods of time. We can’t afford to wait until the next incident of a major coal ash spill. Our elected officials need to get behind timely EPA rulemaking in 2011 so that safety and public health problems linked to coal ash waste are properly regulated and stopped at the source. Their constituents, indeed all Americans, have a right to safe drinking water, regardless of how close they live to a power plant or a coal ash site.

The trip by coal-ash dump site neighbors is being coordinated by the Environmental Integrity Project, Earthjustice and the Sierra Club.

MEDIA CONTACTS: Patrick Mitchell, for Environmental Integrity Project, at (703) 276-3266 or [email protected]; Raviya Ismail, Earthjustice, (202) 667-4500 ext. 221; and Oliver Bernstein of Sierra Club at (512) 477-2152 or [email protected].