Baucus has co-sponsored the Coal Ash Recycling and Oversight Act of 2012, a bill that will allow out of state corporations like Pennyslvania Power and Light to continue polluting our water with toxics and heavy metals, and we need you to contact him today!
This is the time of year when serious mischief occurs in Congress. Sen. Baucus is co-sponsor of a bill that allows out-of-state corporations like Pennsylvania Power and Light to continue polluting our waters with toxics and heavy metals from coal sludge. When asked if he would oppose inclusion of this bill, he refused to answer. Baucus should hear from Montanans that public health and water quality are more important than protecting a company this is already polluting Montana’s water with coal sludge and that earned $1.5 billion in revenues last year.
S. 3512 is a direct threat to water quality. It prevents federal oversight of weak or nonexistent state programs when the state fails to protect water quality from coal sludge, like in Montana. This bill does nothing more than protect extremely rich out-of-state corporations like Pennsylvania Power and Light at the expense of the health and livelihoods of average Montanans.
S. 3512 is so poorly drafted, it led the Congressional Research Service to call it “unprecedented” and found that S. 3512 would:
- Provide NO standard to protect human health and the environment
- Remove ANY EPA authority to compel states to adopt programs according to federal standards
- Remove any deadlines to issue permits or compel compliance with permits
- Lacks requirements to reduce threats from ash ponds and toxic dust, continuing a legacy of pollution from toxic coal ash.
The Coal Ash Recycling and Oversight Act fails to protect communities like Colstrip, that are living with coal ash pollution like arsenic, selenium and lead, and it provides no assurances for safeguarding their health, water sources or air quality. The new bill leaves Montanans nowhere to turn in addressing the massive pollution problems at Pennsylvania Power’s Colstrip ash ponds.
The Montana DEQ has been responsible for oversight of the Colstrip Ash ponds. It’s apparent that the DEQ cares more about catering to the coal industry than protecting their families, as the ponds have been leaking and contaminating the aquifer for over three decades, with no actual plan for clean-up.
Act today, and stop Baucus from polluting our water. Tell Senator Baucus to support real coal ash protections and oppose S. 3512.