Thursday, July 23, 2015

Which 19 Dems Voted to Weaken the EPA's Already Weak Coal Ash Regulations?

Today, the House voted to pass the Improving Coal Combustion Residuals Regulation Act of 2015.
Did it seek to improve the regulation of coal combustion residuals, more commonly known as coal ash? Of course not.

The bill, as one can easily guess, was about weakening regulations--in this case, targeting the already weak coal ash regulations the EPA issued back in December.

What would the bill do specifically?
H.R. 1734 would replace the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) December 2014 rule on coal combustion waste (coal ash) and would legislate an option for its disposal that was not proposed by EPA.
The bill replaces the requirements of the rule by creating a state-based permit program for the disposal of waste generated from coal combustion.
H.R. 1734 also limits the authority of the EPA to issue regulations or enforce standards regarding coal combustion waste to ensure that local communities and waterways are protected from coal ash spills, unless states fail to implement their own permit program. There are also several requirements for the disposal of coal ash contained in the EPA’s final rule that would be eliminated by this measure including: restriction on the location of coal ash disposal sites, requirements that coal ash disposal sites be lined to prevent leaks of the material, and closure requirements for deficient disposal sites.
The bill passed 258 to 166.

239 Republicans and 19 Democrats voted for it. 165 Democrats and 1 Republican voted against it.
That one Republican was Bruce Poliquin (ME-02).

Here are the 19 Democrats:

Brad Ashford (NE-02)
Joyce Beatty (OH-03)
Sanford Bishop (GA-02)
Cheri Bustos (IL-17)
Lacy Clay (MO-01)
Jim Costa (CA-16)
Henry Cuellar (TX-28)
Mike Doyle (PA-14)
Marcia Fudge (OH-11)
Gwen Graham (FL-02)
Gene Green (TX-29)
Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-01)
Gwen Moore (WI-04)
Ed Perlmutter (CO-07)
Collin Peterson (MN-07)
Kurt Schrader (OR-05)
Bennie Thompson (MS-02)
Pete Visclosky (IN-01)
Tim Walz (MN-01)

Frank Pallone (NJ-06) offered an amendment to preserve transparency requirements in EPA's final coal ash rule to ensure public access to information and accountability.

It failed 177 to 244.

4 Democrats joined the GOP in voting against it:

Sanford Bishop (GA-02)
Jim Costa (CA-16)
Henry Cuellar (TX-28)
Collin Peterson (MN-07)

Gerry Connolly (VA-11) offered an amendment to require all inactive surface impoundments to follow post-closure groundwater monitoring standards pursuant to section 257.104 subsections (b) and (c) of title 40, Code of Federal Regulations.

It failed 177 to 245.

5 Democrats joined the GOP in voting against it:

Sanford Bishop (GA-02)
Jim Costa (CA-16)
Henry Cuellar (TX-28)
Collin Peterson (MN-07)
Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09)

Alma Adams (NC-12) offered an amendment to require the owner/operator of a coal combustion residuals surface impoundment (a) to survey all drinking water supply wells that are within a half mile and down-gradient of the established waste boundary and (b) to supply an alternative source of safe drinking water within 24 hours if well water sampling exceeds groundwater standards.

It failed 192 to 231.

13 Republicans joined Democrats in voting for it:

Ryan Costello (PA-06)
Carlos Curbelo (FL-26)
Charlie Dent (PA-05)
Bob Dold (IL-15)
Mike Fitzpatrick (PA-08)
Chris Gibson (NY-19)
Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA-03)
Walter Jones (NC-03)
Frank LoBiondo (NJ-02)
Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05)
Pat Meehan (PA-07)
Mark Sanford (SC-01)
Ryan Zinke (MT-AL)

And 3 Democrats joined Republicans in voting against it:

Jim Costa (CA-16)
Collin Peterson (MN-07)
Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09)

G. K. Butterfield (NC-01) offered an amendment to allow the director of the EPA to prevent the legislation from going into effect if it is determined to have a negative impact on vulnerable populations (“infants, children, adolescents, pregnant women, the elderly, individuals with preexisting medical conditions, individuals who work at coal combustion residuals treatment or disposal facilities, members of any other appropriate population identified by the Administrator based on consideration of socioeconomic status, racial or ethnic background, or other similar factors identified by the Administrator”).

It failed 180 to 240.

One Republican—Ryan Katko (NY-24)—joined Democrats in voting for it.

Two Democrats—Brad Ashford (NE-02) and Collin Peterson (MN-07)—joined Republicans in voting against it.

No comments:

Post a Comment