The effort comes the day after revelations from the watchdog group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility that EPA has for years allowed coal ash industry representatives to edit official government reports, brochures, and fact sheets about coal ash to remove references to potential dangers and to emphasize alleged benefits.
â€œFor most of the past decade, it appears that every EPA publication on the subject was ghostwritten by the American Coal Ash Association,â€ says PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch, who examined thousands of communications between the industry and EPA. â€œIn this partnership it is clear that industry is EPAâ€™s senior partner.â€
During the Bush administration, EPA entered into a formal partnership with the coal industryâ€”especially the ACAAâ€”to promote the use of coal ash for industrial, agricultural, and consumer products. The deal helped develop a multi-billion industry that is now fighting efforts to regulate the coal combustion byproductsâ€”which contain dangerous levels of heavy metals and other toxinsâ€”as hazardous waste.