Denver, Colo., February 4, 2010 — A new advocacy group, Citizens for Recycling First, has formed to oppose regulatory proposals and environmentalist claims that threaten the use of coal ash as a green construction material.
According to the group, attacks on coal ash by environmental advocacy groups have increased and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has signaled that it may regulate coal ash disposal as a hazardous waste. EPA remains supportive of recycling coal ash in a variety of applications ranging from concrete to wallboard, but calling the material “hazardous” in disposal settings may jeopardize those uses, according to the group.
“The current debate over coal ash disposal regulation is too often portrayed as a battle between industry and the environment,” said John Ward, chairman of Citizens for Recycling First. “Citizens for Recycling First will show that many individuals support the safe and environmentally beneficial use of coal ash as a preferred alternative to disposal.”
Almost half of America’s electricity is generated by burning coal, and more than 44 percent of the coal ash produced by this generation can be recycled rather than disposed, according to the group.
According to the American Coal Ash Association, about 136 million tons of coal ash was produced in 2008.