Release Date: Apr 07, 2000Contact: 888-249-NEWS
U.S. Chamber Tells EPA Chief to Heed Staff Advice.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The United States Chamber of Commerce today urged Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Carol Browner to listen to the advice of her own scientific experts and not reclassify coal as a hazardous waste. EPA agreed as little as a year ago that coal waste and coal by-products were adequately controlled under existing standards, in a report to Congress.
"Declaring coal waste hazardous would fly in the face of twenty years of research by EPA's own scientists," said William Kovacs, Chamber vice president for environment and regulatory affairs. "This administration's rush to regulate, without scientific justification, is outrageous. By any scientific standard, no further regulation of coal is necessary."
This Clinton Administration decision would have a devastating impact on key coal producing states such as Pennsylvania, Kentucky and West Virginia, according to the Chamber. Reclassifying coal waste would drive up the price of coal and the price of every product manufactured with the energy from coal.
"Political considerations should not dictate environmental policy," said Kovacs. "There is no new scientific basis for concern and no new information that explains any need to clamp down tighter on coal users."
Environmentalist groups took EPA to court over the classification of coal waste. The judge in that case originally gave EPA until April 10 to come up with a recommendation and all parties have agreed to an additional 30-day extension. The Chamber urged Ms. Browner to review her Agency's recommendations on coal waste objectively, in a letter sent to the Administration earlier this week.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world's largest business federation representing more than three million businesses and organizations of every size, sector and region.