By Falon French
Numerous bills have been introduced that will stop the EPA from strengthening safeguards from toxins in our air and water, including mercury and smog travelling across our state lines. Without sufficient political support, the EPA will soon lose the ability to enforce large portions of the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act.
The House is preparing for a vote this week to determine whether or not the EPA will safeguard our rivers and streams from toxic coal ash waste. Here in Indiana, two spills in the last five years have dumped coal ash waste — over 30 million gallons for each spill — directly into the White River near Martinsville. The drinking water for East Mt. Carmel and the Town of Pines has already been contaminated. Without federal safeguards against coal ash, spills like these will continue to occur, and Hoosiers will not have anywhere to go for help since Indiana has failed to adequately act.
Last year, HEC staff met with citizens in the Town of Pines to learn more about groundwater contamination from past coal ash contamination. We produced a short video to illustrate critical gaps in our laws and how those gaps ultimately hurt public health. Take a couple of minutes to hear the story at http://youtu.be/7XROkm9bIog.
The Coal Residuals Reuse and Management Act (H.R. 2273) will deny long-needed protections for dozens of Indiana communities from coal ash. Contact your Congressman and tell him that Indiana residents need to be protected from coal ash!
To learn more about how your Congressman has voted on water issues, check out a report card that our partners at the Sierra Club have created: http://www.sierraclub.org/coal/reportcard/downloads/indiana.pdf.