New group counters regulatory action hovering over fly ash

Prompted by increased environmentalist attacks on coal ash and signals by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that it may regulate coal ash as a hazardous waste, a new advocacy group—Citizens for Recycling First—will counter moves threatening the material’s use in construction. Although the failure of a coal ash disposal impoundment in December 2008 triggered an outcry among environmentalists, EPA remains supportive of recycling coal ash in a variety of applications ranging from concrete to wallboard. Nonetheless, Citizens for Recycling First notes that labeling the material “hazardous” in disposal settings may jeopardize its constructive use.

“While the current debate over coal ash disposal regulation is too often portrayed as a battle between industry and the environment, [we] will show that many individuals support the safe and environmentally beneficial use of coal ash as a preferred alternative to disposal,” affirms Citizens for Recycling First Chairman John Ward, a 15-year veteran of coal ash marketing, most recently with leader Headwaters Resources.

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