Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition Action Alert

January 28
2010
Alert Archive

OVEC Action Alert
Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition

Below:

 Today, Jan. 28: National Day of Action on Coal Ash
Please join with people across the nation today to take action on toxic coal ash. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is preparing a new rule to ensure the safe disposal of coal ash - the byproduct of burning coal for power. As expected, the coal industry is fighting to maintain the status quo on coal ash, backing a proposal that ensures coal ash is treated less responsibly than household trash.

Please contact the Obama Administration today to let officials know EPA must treat coal waste as a hazardous substance. In addition, EPA must ensure that residents of communities impacted by coal ash disposal can provide input on how the coal ash should be handled.

At 9 a.m. Eastern, all the information you need to contact officials by e-mail, fax or phone, along with talking points, will posted here. In addition, the e-mails, phone and fax numbers and talking points you need to take action are all included at the bottom of this Action Alert.

Click here to watch a video on coal ash regulation and corporate influence.

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 Join SSP and CPG During the WV Legislative Session; SSP Lobbying Today
Our Sludge Safety Project is busy at the West Virginia State Capitol. Join dedicated volunteers in lobbying for a better West Virginia.  Find out how you can get involved, including joining the lobbying going on this morning and subsequent Thursdays during the Legislative Session - click here.  Or, call Stephanie at 304-360-2110 or e-mail stephanie@sludgesafety.org for more information.

CPG, the Cemetery Protection Group, is also busy under the Golden Dome. For an update on what's going on with CPG or for information on how you can become involved, reply to this e-mail.

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 Call Gov. Manchin
If you've been following the news, you know Governor Manchin publicly stated he would call for calm in the coalfields. Climate Ground Zero is asking people to support besieged tree-sitters, who have halted blasted near the Brushy Fork coal sludge dam, by calling Governor Manchin. Details here.

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 Feb. 24: Save the Date
We hope to see you on Wednesday, February 24 at the WV State Capitol for the WV Environmental Council's annual E-Day! WVEC and SSP will offer activities to Remember Buffalo Creek.  E-Day! schedule:

9 a.m. - 2 p.m. Lower Rotunda of State Capitol: lobbying guidance, tabling and more.

5:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. E-Day! Benefit Dinner and Award Ceremony at the Charleston Women's Club. $15 donation

9:00 - 11:00 p.m. E-Day! After Party at the The Empty Glass - 410 Elizabeth St., Charleston. Live music. $5 donation.

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 Reminder: Register Now for March 6-11 Week In Washington
M
arch 6 -10: You're invited to the 5th Annual End Mountaintop Removal Week in Washington. It promises to be a truly historic event. We have a real opportunity to pass the Clean Water Protection Act (HR 1310) and the Appalachia Restoration Act (S 696) in 2010. These bills will make valley fills illegal and go a long way to ending mountaintop removal coal mining.

Last year's Week in Washington was a tremendous success and a lot of fun. More than 150 people from more than 20 states came to Washington, holding more than 150 meetings with Congressional offices. The result? We have 160 co-sponsors in the House and 10 co-sponsors in the Senate.

Will you join us? Full and partial scholarships are available. Scholarships will be given on a needs-basis.

Can't come? We're having a call-in day Tuesday, March 9 - you can participate from anywhere. You can also sponsor a participant by making a contribution.

Can't Wait to take action? Click here to contact your Senators today.

This isn't just a trip to talk to legislators -- it's an opportunity to meet and share stories with other passionate people who care about Appalachia while in our nation's capitol. We'll have workshops where you will be able to develop and hone skills that will serve you as you take the message to Congress and elsewhere that the time has come to end the devastation wrought by mountaintop removal.  This powerful event changes lives - and with your help, it will also change our laws, so that we finally ban mountaintop removal.

To register and find out more, click here

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 Info You Need to Take Action on Coal Ash Today
Coal ash Day of Action: January 28, 2010

Please participate in the day of action by taking at least one of the following steps.

1. Submit a letter to the White House at http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/

2. Submit a letter to the EPA chief Lisa Jackson at jackson.lisap@epa.gov

3. Simply call and say: "I support classification of coal ash as a hazardous waste."

202-395-3080 - White House Office of Management and Budget

202-456-1414-White House Switchboard

202-564-4700 - EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson's Office

4. Fax the White house at 202-456-2461

Talking Points

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is preparing a new rule to ensure the safe disposal of coal ash - the byproduct of burning coal for power. As expected, the coal industry is fighting to maintain the status quo on coal ash, backing a proposal that ensures coal ash is treated less responsibly than household trash.

The nearly 130 million tons of coal ash generated each year is full of harmful toxins like arsenic, lead and mercury. People living near the coal ash sites have a staggering 1 in 50 risk of cancer. Both the EPA and the National Academy of Sciences have years of research making it clear that coal ash is becoming increasingly toxic and confirming time and again that coal ash poses a threat to human health.

EPA must treat coal waste as a hazardous substance and ensure that residents of communities impacted by coal ash disposal can provide input on how the coal ash should be handled.

One thing is clear - we need strong regulations to hold coal accountable and speed the transition to a clean energy economy. Residents across the U.S. want the coal industry to clean up and not expose them to health hazards like air pollution and coal ash.

Why a Coal Ash Day of Action?

Coal-fired power producers, US Senators and Congressman, Governors, and federal and state agencies are pressuring the White House and OMB to derail the US EPA’s attempts to reportedly establish national disposal standards to protect water supplies and communities from toxic coal combustion wastes, or coal ash.

Polluters have already met with OMB and other White House officials at least 21 times in advance of the US EPA’s proposed coal ash rules! Polluters are trying to prevent the public from having a chance to see and comment on the proposed rules.

The time has come to tell the Obama administration the public should be allowed to see and comment on these rules! They need to know we want and support hazardous waste rules that protect our health and environment from coal ash.

We want President Obama to uphold his promise of allowing science to dictate policy: federal agencies must allow the US EPA to do its job to protect our water from the irresponsible dumping of coal ash dumping that has been allowed by states for decades.

Whether it’s a public health threat, an environmental justice issue, a threat to species or public safety, coal ash is bad news for millions of Americans. Tell the White House and EPA how coal ash is a threat in your region and your neighborhood.

Background information

Across the country, millions of tons of coal ash are being stored in ponds, landfills and abandoned mines. Most of these sites lack adequate safeguards leaving nearby communities at risk from potential large scale disasters, like the massive coal ash spill in Tennessee, and from dangerous contamination as coal ash toxins seep into drinking water sources. EPA drafted a coal ash rule and submitted it for review to the White House, Office of Management and Budget (OMB) last fall. OMB has held nearly two dozen meetings with industry groups that seek to weaken, delay or prevent the rule from moving forward. We (environmental, public health and citizen groups) have also met with OMB to educate them on the dangers of coal ash and urge them to move forward with a rule that provides federal protection for public health and the environment. We want to see the rule released for public review and comment as soon as possible. To ensure that the rule doesn't get delayed any further, it is critical to ramp up our activity and demonstrate widespread support for strong, federally enforceable coal ash regulations.

The time has come for citizens throughout the country to make the Obama Administration hear their concerns on coal ash. Let’s join together in calling for coal ash safeguards for all.

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www.ohvec.org       304-522-0246        vivian@ohvec.org

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