The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) held a public hearing in Dallas, Texas on September 8th on whether coal ash should be classified as a hazardous waste and be subject to more stringent disposal regulations. Currently, the ash is classified as a “special waste” but in May the EPA proposed reclassifying it as hazardous waste. The hearing in Dallas is just one of seven the EPA is holding around the country.


Hundreds of people packed the hearing to testify on the proposal. Some arguing that coal ash disposal cause health effects and should be regulated as hazardous and toxic, while others argued there were existing state regulations in place and additional EPA regulation would add needlessly to energy and building materials costs while at the same time discouraging recycling by stigmatizing products made with it. 


Originally, the hearings were going to be completed by the end of this month but sources with the EPA say they may add one final public hearing on coal ash regulatory proposals. That would mean the final public hearing would take place the week of October 25th in Knoxville, Tennessee, although the exact date and location have yet to be announced.


EPA hearing site: