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The U.S. House of Representatives passed the ABC-supported Improving Coal Combustion Residuals Act of 2015 (H.R.1734) July 22. The bill was sponsored by Rep. David McKinley (R-W.Va.) and was cosponsored by a bipartisan group of 44 representatives. 

ABC sent a letter to each member of the U.S. House of Representatives supporting the legislation ahead of the vote. In its letter, ABC expressed concern that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) may label coal combustion residuals (CCRs) as hazardous waste as a result of the EPA’s 2014 Disposal of Coal Combustion Residuals from Electric Utilities rule. Such a designation for CCRs has the potential to cause major problems in construction industry supply chains, which may result in significant end user price increases and job loss.

ABC supports H.R.1734 because it would establish a baseline for CCR disposal and allow states with existing programs governing CCR disposal to continue to operate the programs while also maintaining beneficial reuse programs. 

In its letter, ABC explained that “the construction industry is the primary end user of CCRs. More than 40 percent of all CCR output is converted into high-quality building materials. Many of these materials—including concrete, asphalt, brick and wallboard—are used daily on jobsites throughout the country, and are especially important for large infrastructure projects. If CCRs are no longer available, manufacturers and builders would be forced to turn to more expensive and, incidentally, lower quality components.”

The bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives with bipartisan support (258-166, Roll no. 354). ABC will cover any additional developments on H.R.1734 in Newsline.