2015 Scorecard Vote
Representative David McKinley (R-WV) sponsored H.R. 1734, the Improving Coal Combustion Residuals Regulation Act of 2015, which would permanently categorize coal ash as nonhazardous waste and gut the Environmental Protection Agency’s recently finalized coal ash rule. Every year more than 140 million tons of coal ash—the toxic byproduct of burning coal that is laden with arsenic, lead, and other heavy metals—are stored in more than 1,000 impoundments across the country, many of which have leached dangerous chemicals into water Americans count on. This bill would allow for the continued operation or construction of impoundments in aquifers. Coal ash impoundments have also been known to fail catastrophically, as exemplified by the dam failure at a Tennessee Valley Authority site in December 2008 that spilled more than one billion gallons of ash across 300 acres and by a spill that dumped more than 24 million gallons of waste into the Dan River in North Carolina in 2014. On July 22, the House approved H.R.1734 by a vote of 258-166 (House roll call vote 458). NO IS THE PRO-ENVIRONMENT VOTE. The Senate took no action on this legislation.