Tennessean: EPA adds hearing in TN on coal ash regs

Posted on September 8, 2010

The EPA has announced a hearing will be held in Tennessee on coal ash regulations, after individuals, environmental groups and Sen. Lamar Alexander demanded it.

The federal agency had set hearings in seven other states around the country, but had not included  Tennessee where the massive TVA coal ash spill occurred in 2008.

The additional hearing will be Oct. 25, in Knoxville, but the time and location have not yet been set, according to the EPA website.

Brian Paddock with the TN Chapter of the Sierra Club said the group was pleased that EPA has decided to hold a hearing in the state.

"The victims of the Kingston coal ash disaster should be heard," he said.

Coal ash can contain mercury, arsenic and other toxic materials, including radioactive substances.

Many environmental groups back an EPA option to classify coal ash as a special waste that, if not recycled in a safe way, would require disposal as a hazardous material. Many industry groups want state's individually to set any regulations.