The American people have spoken loud and clear that they want strong protections for clean drinking water and safe environments yet we have no Coal Ash Rule due to political pressure from industry.
We the undersigned ask the administration to rule to get arsenic, lead, mercury out of our nation’s drinking water through the announcement of a strong, protective Coal Ash Rule. We petition our government and the EPA to rule Subtitle C with the addition of protections for our nation's floodplains, rivers, streams and bodies of water.
The proposed Coal Ash Rule has been in play for almost 2 years and we have waited for a strong Subtitle C-like ruling for decades. We the undersigned, petition the Obama White House and its EPA to act to protect the public and environment we all share and depend on for our nation's prosperity. A ruling by February 14th 2012 would show the administration's commitment to informed policy and clear public health and clean energy priorities.
Coal ash waste contains mercury, arsenic, lead and a host of carcinogenic, mutagen compounds that endanger our communities and future generations. Coal ash waste is an enormous waste stream in the United States making its impacts widespread and significant. In 2009, the US produced 130 million tons of coal ash waste from the burning of coal. Coal ash waste is dumped in our floodplains, caves, old mine sites and all over our communities in non-encapsulated forms (soil augmentation, construction fill, road traction, consumer products, etc.). Lack of oversight and enforcement has put us and our economy at risk. Our nation's communities have become dumping grounds. With Subtitle C regulation, safe waste management is possible. Our rivers and streams, roads and homes, children and drinking water will no longer be unofficial dump sites.
Over 500,000 Americans turned out to regional hearings or sent in comments on the rule to say EPA RULE TO PROTECT THE PUBLIC WITH SUBTITLE C. Many of us added that toxic, carcinogenic materials harmful to our children and the environment should never be stored in or near our nation's floodplains, waterways or in locations that risk the contamination of our ground water resources. The current Subtitle C option is incomplete without these protections. Our nation's drinking water should never be a dumping ground for toxic waste.
The undersigned ask the Obama White House and EPA to:
1. To the White House: Demand that your EPA rule in the first few months of 2012. A clear message from you that you expect a strong rule and will veto anything coming out of the Senate that threatens the scientists and experts at the EPA to rule is needed.
2. To the EPA: Announce a strong Subtitle C Coal Ash Rule by Valentine’s Day 2012 so communities and children can be protected in the foreseeable future.
3. To the EPA and White House: Include protections for our nation’s floodplains and vulnerable locations given the toxicity, risks and costs of landfilling coal ash waste in locations that put drinking water at risk.
The American people and future generations thank you for your service and decisiveness required in making this decision.