(House of Representatives - June 20, 2012)

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[Pages H3868-H3875]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []

                              {time}  1520
                     EXTENSION ACT OF 2012, PART II

  Mr. McKINLEY. Mr. Speaker, I have a motion at the desk.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Clerk will report the motion.
  The Clerk read as follows:
  Mr. McKinley moves that the managers on the part of the House at the 
conference on the disagreeing votes of the two houses on the Senate 
amendment to the bill H.R. 4348 be instructed to insist on the 
provisions contained in title V of the House bill (relating to coal 
combustion residuals).
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to clause 7 of rule XXII, the 
gentleman from West Virginia (Mr. McKinley) and the gentleman from 
California (Mr. Waxman) each will control 30 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from West Virginia.
  Mr. McKINLEY. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 7 minutes.
  Concrete is a fundamental element of roads, bridges, and 
infrastructure projects, and an important element of concrete is coal 
ash. This is now the fourth time the House has affirmed and reaffirmed 
its support for the beneficial use of recycling coal ash.
  Currently, the conference committee on H.R. 4348 is deep in 
productive negotiations, and strong bipartisan compromises have 
occurred relative to the coal ash provision. My intent today is to urge 
the conferees to continue these bipartisan negotiations and retain this 
important, cost-saving provision in the final bill.
  We're not here to rehash the same ideologically motivated arguments 
that we have heard from the extremists. Simply put, we are here to help 
put people back to work, to give American businesses certainty, and to 
protect the health and environment of our families and friends.
  For those who say coal ash is irrelevant to roads and bridges, they 
couldn't be further from the truth. Concrete suppliers have been 
incorporating coal ash into concrete mixtures since the construction of 
the Hoover Dam over 80 years ago. Without coal ash, the cost of 
construction projects would increase by $100 billion, according to the 
American Road and Transportation Builders Association, thereby reducing 
the amount of moneys available for roads and bridges and infrastructure 
in America.
  Keep in mind, less construction results in fewer jobs. By retaining 
this bipartisan section of the highway bill, Congress will be also 
protecting the 316,000 jobs that are at stake in the recycling of fly 
ash--jobs involving concrete block, brick, drywall, ceramic tile, 
bowling balls, and even in the cosmetics industry. For those who have 
been asking where the jobs bills are, this is a jobs bill.
  Among the supporters of this language are the Chamber of Commerce, 
the National Association of Manufacturers, the International 
Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, the United Mine Workers, the United 
Transportation Union, the American Road and Transportation Builders 
Association, the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, and the AFL 
CIO's building and construction trades.

[[Page H3869]]

  Consider these quotes, Mr. Speaker:
  ``Removing coal ash from the supply chain could increase the price of 
concrete by an average of 10 percent,'' according to the National 
Association of Homebuilders.
  According to the National Association of Manufacturers:
  ``Coal ash contributes $6-$11 billion annually to the U.S. economy 
through revenues from sales for beneficial use, avoided cost of 
disposal, and savings from use as sustainable building materials.''
  Mr. Speaker, currently 60 million tons of coal ash is recycled 
annually. According to EPA's own data, coal ash replaces between 15 and 
30 percent of the Portland cement used in concrete. The EPA has noted 
that the use of coal ash in concrete has resulted in saving as much as 
25 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually and as much as 54 
million barrels of oil. The EPA has indicated the annual financial 
benefits of using coal ash as a substitute for Portland cement 
contributes nearly $5 billion in energy savings, $41 billion in water 
savings, $240 million in emission reductions, and nearly $18 billion in 
nongreenhouse gas-related air pollution. The EPA itself states that 
coal ash leads to ``better road performance.''
  Two studies, one in 1993 and another in 2000, both under the Clinton 
administration's EPA, found that coal ash did not warrant the 
regulations being pushed by the Obama administration. In 2005, the EPA, 
the Federal Highway Administration, and the Department of Energy 
collaborated with the private sector to craft guidance on the 
appropriate uses and benefits of coal ash in highway construction.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. WAXMAN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 5 minutes.
  Reauthorizing the surface transportation programs is important for 
communities across the country. It will help revitalize our 
transportation infrastructure and will create jobs. The Transportation 
Conference Committee must work together to finalize a conference report 
as soon as possible to get people back to work.
  The Senate worked in a bipartisan manner to develop a strong bill 
that will create jobs and help the economy. They focused on the core 
issues, ignoring the temptation to attach side issues to this important 
legislation. Unfortunately, the transportation bill is now being 
jeopardized by extraneous and antienvironmental provisions being pushed 
by Republicans in the House.
  Instead of working to come to agreement on important transportation 
policy provisions, House Republicans are holding the bill hostage for a 
legislative earmark for the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, provisions 
that steamroll environmental review of projects, and the McKinley coal 
ash bill that eliminates existing authority to protect human health and 
the environment from the risks posed by unsafe disposal of coal ash.
  This motion to instruct is the latest effort to push these positions. 
It would instruct the transportation conferees to insist on the 
McKinley coal ash bill in the transportation bill.
  But the McKinley coal ash proposal is extraneous. If we do nothing on 
the transportation bill to address coal ash disposal, then coal ash 
will continue to be available for use in concrete for transportation 
projects just as it is today. Current Federal regulations do not 
restrict the use of coal ash in concrete. And counter to what you may 
hear today, EPA has not proposed to regulate such beneficial reuses.
  Although some may suggest that recycling of coal ash will decrease 
because of stigma, experience has shown that when waste materials are 
regulated, as EPA has proposed to do for coal ash, the rates of 
recycling and reuse increase. This has happened with other regulated 
wastes, and it has happened with coal ash in Wisconsin, which has a 
robust regulatory scheme. There's a very simple reason for this: 
Disposal in unsafe pits is inexpensive but environmentally dangerous. 
When reasonable environmental safeguards are put in place, the cost of 
disposal will increase. That makes alternatives like using coal ash in 
concrete more attractive.
  The coal ash legislation that this motion seeks to include will not 
ensure the safe disposal of coal ash. It will not prevent coal ash 
impoundments from catastrophically failing. It will not protect against 
significant environmental and economic damage. And it will not prevent 
contamination of public drinking water systems.
  The McKinley coal ash bill will not stop another spill like we saw in 
Kingston, air pollution like we have seen in Gambrills, Maryland, or 
water pollution like we have seen nationwide.

                              {time}  1530

  What this coal ash proposal will do is stop the transportation 
conference from succeeding. This motion to instruct attempts to lock 
the House conferees into a position that the Senate will only reject, 
and it will doom the transportation conference committee to failure.
  We can retreat to intractable positions on extraneous issues, making 
a transportation bill difficult, if not impossible, to pass, 
particularly in the time frame that we have set out for us; or, we can 
work together in the time we have to produce a transportation bill that 
will be signed by the President and will keep our economy on the mend.
  A vote for this motion is a vote against completing the 
transportation conference. I urge all Members to say ``yes'' to 
transportation and vote ``no'' on this position motion.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. McKINLEY. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to my colleague from 
Illinois (Mr. Shimkus).
  (Mr. SHIMKUS asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
  Mr. SHIMKUS. Mr. Speaker, it is great to be down here.
  This is why this provision of this bill is really pertinent to the 
highway bill. Here it is: Flex concrete, fly ash, lighter, more 
  I have two documents I brought to the floor. The second one reads in 
the acknowledgments:

       This document was prepared by the U.S. EPA in cooperation 
     with the following agencies and associations: Department of 
     Energy, Federal Highway Administration, American Coal Ash 
     Association, and the Utility Solid Waste Activities Group.

  What is interesting about these two books, one published in June 
2003, the other one published in 2005, is they go through all of the 
great uses of fly ash in construction, and I would like to read just a 
few of those.
  Here's one: ``Fly ash improves workability for pavement of 
  Remember, a DOT book, EPA approved, DOE approved.
  The next one has: ``Fly ash concrete is used in severe exposure 
applications such as the decks and piers of Tampa Bay's Sunshine Skyway 
  Nice photo here, beautiful bridge. So this is not new. This is 
reaffirming what the construction industry has been doing for decades. 
And actually in this other pamphlet, I'll talk about even greater use.
  Here's another one: ``Fly ash concrete finishing.''
  Again, this is a Federal Highway Administration book, Department of 
Energy book, sponsored by the U.S. EPA, all saying good things about 
fly ash in road construction.
  ``Full-depth reclamation of a bituminous road.''
  Another one: ``Flowable fill used in a utility trench application,'' 
all dealing with fly ash.
  ``Fly Ash in Structural Fills and Embankments''; a nice photo of them 
using that in the construction sector.
  Also, ``Soil Stabilization to Improve Soil Strength,'' all using fly 
ash applications.
  We have a highway bill, and that's why this provision is very, very 
important; because if the EPA has its way and they label fly ash as 
toxic, guess what, no more flex concrete, no more building of buildings 
that have fly ash applications.
  This is one of my favorite ones: ``Use of Ash in Construction Through 
the Ages. In ancient times, the Romans added volcanic ash to concrete 
to strengthen structures such as the Roman Pantheon and the Coliseum--
both of which still stand today.
  ``The first major use of coal fly ash in concrete in the United 
States occurred in 1942 to repair a tunnel spillway at the Hoover Dam.

  ``One of the most impressive concrete structures in the country, the 
Hungry Horse Dam near Glacier National Park in Montana, was constructed 
from 1948

[[Page H3870]]

to 1952, with concrete containing''--you guessed it--``fly ash.''
  We're in Washington, D.C.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman has expired.
  Mr. McKINLEY. I yield the gentleman an additional 30 seconds.
  Mr. SHIMKUS. One of the great things we see here, ``In Washington, 
D.C., both the metropolitan area subway system (Metro) and the new 
Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center were built 
with''--you guessed it--fly ash and concrete.
  ``Other significant structures utilizing coal fly ash in concrete 
include the `Big Dig' in Boston and the decks and piers of Tampa Bay's 
Sunshine Skyway Bridge.''
  That's why this is applicable to the highway bill. I commend my 
  Mr. WAXMAN. Mr. Speaker, at this time I'd like to yield 5 minutes to 
the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Rush), the ranking member of the 
Energy Subcommittee.
  Mr. RUSH. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the ranking member on the 
Energy and Commerce Committee and let him know how much I appreciate 
not only his leadership on other issues, but particularly his 
leadership on this issue here.
  Mr. Speaker, I stand here astounded, amazed, and bemused at the 
remarks of the past speaker. You know, he wants the American people to 
be convinced that fly ash is as healthy to them as it can be and that 
they should, in fact, maybe go out and go to their local drugstore and 
ask for a bottle of fly ash so they can sprinkle it over their dinner 
meal as they would maybe a salad dressing. I don't think that the 
American people would be pleased with that.
  Mr. Speaker, I stand in strong opposition to this motion to instruct. 
At a time when we are facing historic levels of joblessness in 
communities around the country, in the African American communities and 
other minority communities, Republicans are playing chicken with the 
transportation bill, which is intended to provide American jobs and 
repair our aging infrastructure. It is not to further the contamination 
of the water supplies, the air supplies in our most vulnerable 
communities, so why don't we stop the charade. Why don't we stop the 
asthmatic assault on the most vulnerable segments, the most vulnerable 
communities in our Nation.
  This motion to instruct contains a deadly and dangerous provision 
that would only allow more poison, more disease, and more death from 
one of our Nation's biggest waste products--the deadly, cancerous coal 
ash that's under discussion today.
  Coal ash, I want to remind you, is a waste leftover after thousands 
of tons of coal are burned at coal-fired power plants, and it is laden 
from top to bottom with toxins such as mercury, arsenic, cadmium, 
chromium, and lead. These are pollutants that cause cancer, that cause 
organ disease, breathing problems, neurological damage, developmental 
problems, and even the final problem, which is death.
  Mr. Speaker, title V of H.R. 4348 gives companies an unprecedented 
ability to pollute under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, 
even though the EPA, the Environmental Protection Agency, found some 
coal ash ponds pose a 1-in-50 risk of cancer related to residents 
drinking arsenic-contaminated water, a risk that is 2,000 times the 
EPA's regulatory goal.
  Dangerous coal ash disposal affects thousands of U.S. communities, 
but research informs us that income and race remain strong predictors 
of the amount of pollution that Americans face. The majority of coal 
ash is disposed in grossly inadequate dumpsites, which are primarily 
located in low-income communities, disproportionately impacting those 
who are least equipped to respond to water contamination and the 
onslaught of toxic dust in the air.

                              {time}  1540

  Mr. Speaker, low-income citizens are more likely to rely on 
groundwater supplies and less likely to have access to medical 
insurance and health care.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman has expired.
  Mr. WAXMAN. I yield the gentleman an additional minute.
  Mr. RUSH. Mr. Speaker, title V of H.R. 4348 fails to protect 
communities and their drinking water from toxic coal ash or from 
another messy spill like the disaster that occurred in Kingston, 
Tennessee, in 2008.
  Mr. Speaker, let me conclude by saying that my State alone produces 
4.4 million tons of coal ash annually, and at least 19 coal ash 
dumpsites have contaminated local water supplies. Additionally, each 
and every day a steam-fired steamship, the SS Badger, dumps 4 tons of 
coal ash into Lake Michigan, my beloved city of Chicago's primary water 
supply system.
  I urge all of my colleagues to vote against the motion to instruct.
  Mr. McKINLEY. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to my colleague from 
Pennsylvania (Mr. Holden).
  Mr. HOLDEN. I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of the gentleman from West 
Virginia's motion to instruct conferees to resolve the coal ash 
provision in the highway bill.
  There are more co-generation plants in my congressional district than 
any congressional district in the country. For more than 100 years, 
coal refuse piles created eyesores throughout northeastern 
Pennsylvania. These culm banks are now baseball fields and shopping 
  Coal ash is not hazardous. EPA determined that fact in regulatory 
determinations in 1993 and in 2000. The fact that EPA continues to 
leave a hazardous waste designation for coal ash on the table--even 
though these three decades of science and facts point the other way--is 
directly contributing to the loss of current and future recycling.
  This designation would harm companies in the still emerging coal 
combustion byproduct markets that make everyday products like concrete, 
shingles, and wall board. It will also hinder State departments of 
transportation that use CCB in job-creating highway and infrastructure 
projects and overwhelm State budgets and employee resources by more 
than doubling the volume of waste subject to hazardous waste controls, 
and translate into increased energy rates for millions of American 
  As a member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, I see 
no better way to create jobs than to pass the highway bill. During the 
last highway bill, Pennsylvania received over $10 billion, which 
created over 400,000 jobs. The coal ash provision in the highway bill 
only strengthens job creation. Simply put, highway spending strengthens 
the fabric of our Nation's infrastructure while creating jobs for 
millions of Americans.
  I urge passage of the gentleman's motion to instruct.
  Mr. WAXMAN. Mr. Speaker, at this time I yield 5 minutes to the 
gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Moran).
  Mr. MORAN. I thank the very distinguished gentleman, the ranking 
member on Energy and Commerce.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to this motion to instruct 
conferees to include the Coal Residuals and Reuse Management Act into 
any final conference agreement on the surface transportation 
authorization bill.
  The bill my colleague seeks to include in the surface transportation 
bill is bad policy. It has nothing to do with transportation, and it 
would place communities living downstream from coal ash ponds in real 
  When properly recycled, coal ash and other residuals from burning 
coal do have economic value--that's not the issue here, but managed 
improperly, they can be extremely hazardous. Coal ash shouldn't be 
dumped in unregulated ponds to contaminate water and spill into nearby 
streams and rivers.
  In 2008, as Mr. Rush pointed to, the Kingston fossil plant in 
Tennessee failed to properly maintain its coal ash impoundment pond. 
The pond collapsed, and it dumped 1.1 billion gallons of coal ash 
slurry into the Clinch River and inundated several houses with up to 
six feet of ash and mud. And then when they independently tested the 
Clinch River after the Tennessee Valley Authority impoundment collapse, 
it showed high levels of arsenic, copper, barium, cadmium, chromium, 
lead, mercury, nickel, and thallium all related to that spill. The 
spill contaminated the water, it killed the fish, and it destroyed 
property. The cleanup pricetag is still being assessed, but it's 
estimated to cost between $700 million and $1 billion. The motion my 
colleague from West Virginia is proposing

[[Page H3871]]

would prevent EPA from setting standards for this type of coal ash 
dump, allowing these problems to continue unchecked.
  We need to preserve the Environmental Protection Agency's authority 
to advance regulations that discourage improper disposal of coal ash 
and to encourage recycling. Every year, coal-fired power plants and 
industrial boilers in the United States generate about 67 million tons 
of coal ash and slag and about 19 million tons of coal sludge.
  While fly ash, bottom ash, flue gas desulfurization mineral, and 
boiler slag all have a number of beneficial reuses in concrete, road, 
wallboard, and roofing, they also contain heavy metals--including lead, 
arsenic, cadmium, and mercury, as well as radioactive elements. These 
hazardous components dictate that we must be careful in the handling 
use, reuse, and disposal of the material.
  Contrary to much of the publicity surrounding the coal ash issue, EPA 
is not trying to ban the beneficial reuse of coal ash. In fact, EPA 
proposed two separate possible regulatory regimes to encourage 
recycling and reduce improper coal ash disposal. EPA wants to ensure 
that coal ash reuse is preserved while guaranteeing that any disposal 
is done safely and effectively.
  EPA's proposed rules received extensive public involvement, including 
thousands of public comments and eight public hearings around the 
country. The Coal Residuals and Reuse Management Act is designed to 
deprive EPA of the ability to use the best available science in its 
decisions, and it would negate those thousands of public comments that 
were received after the rule's proposal. It would also give a free pass 
to power companies to pollute at taxpayer expense.
  Coal ash is a national, interstate issue and should be subject to 
Federal regulation.
  As Congress stated when passing the Resource Conservation and 
Recovery Act:

       The problems of waste disposal have become a matter 
     national in scope and in concern and necessitate Federal 
     action. Disposal of solid waste and hazardous waste in or on 
     the land without careful planning and management can present 
     a danger to human health and the environment.

  That was true in 1976, and 30 years later it's still true. In the 
years since, we have found that proper regulation of waste disposal 
encourages rather than discourages recycling. Implementing 
environmental and safety controls makes recycling far more attractive 
and far more likely to occur. Thirty years of data on solid and 
hazardous waste disposal and recycling have borne this out. Let's not 
revisit the Wild West past of hazardous waste disposal.
  We need to stand up for the same principles Congress stated in the 
Resource Conservation and Recovery Act over 30 years ago. That's why I 
strongly urge my colleagues to oppose the McKinley motion. Prevent more 
Kingston ash impoundment disasters; they will be replicated, and it 
will be our fault. We need to allow EPA to regulate responsibly and to 
allow the beneficial use of coal ash.
  Mr. McKINLEY. Mr. Speaker, I might suggest, with all due respect, I 
think that those who are opposing this amendment, Mr. Speaker, I would 
encourage them to read the bill.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to my friend and colleague from wild, 
wonderful West Virginia (Mrs. Capito).
  Mrs. CAPITO. I want to thank my colleague from West Virginia (Mr. 
McKinley) for his solid work on this issue.
  I want to say to my colleague from California, who said that this 
issue is going to hold the transportation conference bill hostage, it's 
absolutely not a fair statement. I'm on the transportation conference 
committee. We're working day and night, in a bicameral, bipartisan way, 
to reach a compromise on a jobs bill, and this coal ash provision is 
very important.

                              {time}  1550

  Many Americans are unfamiliar with this, but 40 percent is used as 
raw material to build our highways and our bridges.
  I was just visiting the Sutton Dam in Braxton County in West 
Virginia. My colleague talks about the Hoover Dam. We celebrated its 
50-year birthday of its construction. It's built with coal ash, and 
it's just as effective today as it was 50 years ago. It is an essential 
and safe material to be used in our infrastructure.
  According to the American Road and Transportation Builders 
Association, if we don't use coal ash in bridge and road construction, 
the cost would increase over $100 billion over 20 years. We simply 
can't afford this.
  Let's be smart about this. We can find the way, and we've known the 
way, as the Sutton Dam and the Hoover Dam have shown us. I think we can 
find a way to safely reduce the costs of construction in our roads and 
bridges by using coal ash.
  We have unemployment of over 8 percent for 30 consecutive months. We 
need a transportation bill. We need a smart transportation bill that's 
going to put America back to work and rebuild our infrastructure.
  Mr. McKinley's legislation, and this motion, takes the right approach 
by giving the States the authority to deal with this. I hope my fellow 
conferees will work to ensure that this important provision remains in 
the bill, that we pass the gentleman's motion to instruct. This will 
not be an obstruction to us passing the transportation bill, and I look 
forward to passing that bill on the floor in a bipartisan way.
  Mr. WAXMAN. Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased at this time to yield 5 minutes 
to the gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. Markey).
  Mr. MARKEY. I thank the gentleman.
  Today marks the summer solstice, the longest day of the year. Instead 
of spending the daylight hours passing a clean transportation bill that 
will help shore up real jobs for Americans, the Congress will be 
spending the day repealing public health protections and giving away 
nearly all of our public lands to oil and gas companies in the 
culmination of the Republican majority's Oil Above All agenda. It is 
really a ``Midsummer's Nightmare'' for the American people.
  But before we get to voting on the Republican oil package, we get to 
debate whether another Republican bill, whose sole premise is to 
prevent EPA from following the scientific evidence, should be included 
in the Transportation bill.
  This bill says that no matter what EPA learns about the sludge that 
comes out of coal-fired power plants, no matter how high the 
concentrations of poisonous arsenic, mercury or chromium, no matter 
what EPA learns about how these materials find their way into our 
drinking water, EPA is forbidden to classify or regulate it as 
hazardous waste. EPA is forbidden to require that this toxic material 
be disposed of carefully.
  This bill turns a blind eye to evidence of known hazards and takes us 
back to the Dark Ages, to a time before science was valued and before 
advanced knowledge transformed society. It takes us back to an era when 
mercury and arsenic, major components of coal ash, were used to cure 
toothaches and clear up your complexion. It takes us back to an era 
where children were sent deep into the bowels of the Earth to rip coal 
from the mines and die early deaths.
  Apparently, House Republicans not only wish to embrace the principal 
energy source of the 19th century; they also wish to return us to the 
19th-century principles about public health and the environment 
regarding arsenic and mercury and their danger to the citizens of our 
  Now, there are good uses for coal ash, beneficial uses. It can be 
used to construct highways and shingles. That's good. It can be mixed 
into concrete and grout. That's good.
  But what we don't want is for the industry to be able to use it to 
construct a golf course, like what they did in Battlefield, Virginia, 
because it can directly contaminate the groundwater. It can pollute and 
cause injury and cancers in the neighbors of that golf course.
  We also don't want it to be disposed of in pits that aren't sealed to 
handle this special waste, like what happened in Tennessee when a TVA 
disposal pit collapsed, engulfing an entire small town in toxic sludge. 
We should have regulations to protect against that ever happening in 
our country again.
  This is exactly what this bill, the Republican bill, will do. It will 
blast us back into the past and allow coal ash to be disposed of 
without proper construction or monitoring.

[[Page H3872]]

  At the end of this month, transit and highway funding will expire, 
hundreds of thousands of jobs are at stake, and our transportation 
infrastructure will be in peril. Even Senate Republicans have 
recognized the dangers inherent in allowing this to occur and have 
joined with Senate Democrats to craft a bipartisan bill so we can put 
people back to work using coal ash in the highways of our country.
  But in spite of this, the House Republicans are insisting that 
unrelated and unnecessary toxic provisions dangerous to the health and 
well-being of Americans be attached to this bill in order to protect 
Big Oil and Big Coal.
  Instead of allowing the coal industry and Republicans to transport 
our country's environmental and public health standards back to the era 
of Charles Dickens, we should be holding them to higher expectations 
for the 21st century, for the public health and well-being of our 
  I urge a ``no'' vote on this preposterous Republican initiative.
  Mr. McKINLEY. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to my colleague from 
Ohio (Mr. Renacci).
  Mr. RENACCI. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support of this 
motion to instruct the Surface Transportation bill conferees. The EPA's 
proposed rule to classify coal ash as a hazardous material is yet 
another example of this administration's continual attack on coal and 
the affordable domestic energy it generates.
  The production and use of coal ash has grown into a multi-billion 
dollar industry supporting thousands of jobs in my home State of Ohio. 
Coal ash is used in more than 75 percent of the concrete primarily 
because of its cost effectiveness. Eliminating it would force concrete 
producers to use expensive alternatives, driving up the cost of 
building roads and bridges in America by more than $5 billion a year. 
That means construction costs won't go as far at a time when our 
infrastructure is in dire need of repair.
  In addition, classifying coal ash as a hazardous material will prove 
extremely costly for coal-fired power plants. Some energy companies may 
analyze the costs and find it simply too expensive to continue 
operating. Others may attempt to pass the new costs on to consumers in 
the form of higher utility costs. Either way, the outcome would be 
devastating for a State like Ohio that derives 80 percent of its 
electric power from coal. With our economy still struggling, that is 
the last thing Ohio businesses, construction companies, and families 
need right now.
  Despite decades of research and studies concluding there is no reason 
to consider coal ash hazardous, many of which the EPA itself carried 
out, the Agency now appears willing to jeopardize thousands of jobs 
with this inaccurate ruling. It is critical that efforts are taken to 
prevent the implementation of this regulation. Instead, allow each 
State to set up their own coal ash recycling programs following 
existing EPA health and environmental regulations. This approach will 
protect jobs and our economy in my home State and across America.
  I applaud Representative McKinley for his continued leadership on 
this issue, and I urge the conferees to keep the bipartisan House 
language in the final version of the Surface Transportation bill.

                              {time}  1600

  Mr. WAXMAN. Mr. Speaker, I now have the pleasure to yield 1 minute to 
the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Quigley).
  Mr. QUIGLEY. Mr. Speaker, today the House will vote on yet another 
environmental ruinous bill. This motion would instruct surface 
transportation conferees to retain the language of H.R. 2273, which 
prohibits the EPA from regulating coal ash.
  Coal ash is the toxic combination of mercury, boron, aluminum, 
thallium, sodium, and arsenic that is produced by burning coal. 
Shockingly, people living near unlined coal ash ponds have a risk of 
cancer that is 2,000 times greater than EPA's acceptable level.
  This motion would disallow the EPA from doing its job. Allowing the 
EPA to enforce safeguards against coal ash pollution would help to 
avoid disasters like the 2008 spill in Tennessee, where a dam holding 
more than 1 billion gallons of toxic coal ash failed. That spill 
destroyed 300 acres and dozens of homes, devastated wildlife, poisoned 
two rivers--and apparently taught us nothing.
  I urge my colleagues to oppose this latest attempt to bar the EPA 
from saving lives and preserving the environment.
  Mr. McKINLEY. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes of my remaining time to 
the gentleman from Pennsylvania, Congressman Doyle.
  Mr. DOYLE. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the gentleman's motion 
to instruct.
  Coal ash is a serious issue for this country and especially for 
Pennsylvania. Nearly all of my constituents get their power from coal, 
and with that power generation comes its by-product--coal ash. It's an 
unavoidable part of our power generation in southwestern Pennsylvania.
  Though the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has some of the toughest coal 
ash disposal standards in the country, I've been convinced that coal 
ash needs to be federally regulated under the Resource Conservation and 
Recovery Act. However, this motion to instruct does not fully encompass 
my position on the issue.
  Although this motion to instruct calls on conferees to insist upon 
the House language on coal ash, that is not the whole story. In fact, I 
support the coal ash language that the bipartisan group of Senators is 
working on. I've seen much of the work they've been doing, and I can 
tell you that I believe it to be an improvement on what we're doing 
here in the House. The question is: Will the conferees agree to a bill 
at all and will it include coal ash?
  My vote in favor of this motion is meant to urge my colleagues to 
finish the process so that we can resolve the coal ash issue in a way 
that's good for the environment, our constituents, and the purposes of 
recycling these materials.
  I want to make it clear that I do not believe that any coal ash or 
Keystone provisions should be used to hold up the transportation bill 
conference. Above all else, it is essential that this Congress does its 
job and completes the highway bill conference before the current 
program expires on June 30. I continue to support the Federal 
regulation of coal ash as a nonhazardous waste, and I encourage my 
colleagues to work quickly towards a bipartisan, bicameral resolution 
on this issue.
  Mr. WAXMAN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
Rhode Island (Mr. Langevin).
  (Mr. LANGEVIN asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
  Mr. LANGEVIN. I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  Mr. Speaker, another summer building season is well under way without 
a long-term transportation bill; and we are, quite frankly, down to the 
wire on the current funding authorization, which expires next Sunday. 
Yet here we are debating the addition of even more non-transportation-
related measures.
  Congressman McKinley's motion to instruct on coal ash is another 
example of delay. The transportation conferees ought to be urgently 
completing their work on a long-term authorization, not being saddled 
with extraneous requirements which pose a threat to public health. With 
thousands of jobs on hold until Congress acts, this delay is 
  Our State Departments of Transportation gave us early warning that if 
Congress did not act on a long-term transportation bill by March 31 the 
summer building season would be compromised. The Senate recognized this 
concern, and it sent to the House bipartisan legislation known as MAP 
21, which is a bill that passed the Senate with the strong bipartisan 
support of 74 Senators. Then, as we saw the March 31 deadline come and 
go, House leadership refused to take up the bipartisan Senate bill, 
knowing full well that carrying an extension through the summer 
building season would cost jobs. And it has.
  Nowhere is our Nation's fragile recovery more apparent than in my 
home State of Rhode Island, which currently has an unemployment rate of 
11 percent. According to RIDOT, millions of dollars in projects have 
already been delayed, including a $6.4 million project to carry I-95 
over Ten Rod Road in Exeter; a $1.5 million project to provide traffic 
improvements on I-295

[[Page H3873]]

ramps along the borders of Cranston and Johnston; a $3.5 million 
project to resurface State Street to Broad Street and Main Street to 
route 1A in Westerly, Rhode Island. These projects not only improve the 
infrastructure upon which our businesses and residents rely, but they 
mean real jobs, desperately needed jobs, for Rhode Islanders.
  MAP 21 will help rebuild America's economy so it is on a stronger, 
more sustainable foundation. It will provide the financing for critical 
highway and transit projects and support almost 2 million jobs, 9,000 
of them in my home State of Rhode Island.
  The 90-day extension, Mr. Speaker, is almost up. It was reluctantly 
passed back in March with the promise of a long-term measure to follow, 
a bill which has yet to materialize. We must let the conferees finish 
their work, and we must let the EPA continue to do its job of 
protecting the public from the risks of coal ash, which include cancer, 
neurological disorders, birth defects, and asthma.
  I urge my colleagues to vote against this industry-driven motion and 
to vote for moving forward on the path to rebuilding our roads, our 
communities, and our economy by bringing the American people a long-
term transportation bill.
  Mr. McKINLEY. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to my colleague from 
Texas (Mr. Olson).
  Mr. OLSON. I rise in support of my good friend Mr. McKinley in his 
efforts to include the Coal Residuals Reuse and Management Act in the 
final transportation authorization bill.
  EPA's goal of issuing new Federal rules to regulate coal combustion 
residuals would have far-reaching and negative impacts on our economy. 
These EPA rules would severely hamper American energy production, 
thereby risking our Nation's ability to meet the electricity generation 
we need to grow our economy and to get our country back on track 
working again.
  President Obama wants to eliminate coal as a source of energy for 
America. This should come as no surprise to those who listened to 
President Obama's comments when he was a candidate for office. He spoke 
from his heart in San Francisco in 2008.
  Here is a summary of what he said:

       Let me sort of describe my overall policy. What I've said 
     is that we would put a cap-and-trade system in place that is 
     as aggressive, if not more aggressive, than anybody else's 
     out there.

  He later said:

       So, if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they 
     can. It's just that it will bankrupt them because they're 
     going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas 
     that's being emitted.

  We need common sense at the EPA, and we need a President who 
understands that an all-of-the-above strategy includes American coal. 
That is why I am supporting Mr. McKinley's Coal Residuals Reuse and 
Management Act in the final transportation authorization bill, and I 
urge my colleagues to vote for Mr. McKinley's motion to instruct 
  Mr. MARKEY. I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. McKINLEY. Mr. Speaker, I yield the next 2 minutes of my time to 
my colleague from West Virginia (Mr. Rahall).
  Mr. RAHALL. I thank the gentleman from West Virginia for yielding, my 
good friend, and I commend him for his dogged determination on this 
issue and for his patience and persistence. I certainly rise in support 
of this motion to instruct.
  This gentleman from West Virginia was, after all, the Democratic 
floor manager of the House bill which got us into conference with the 
Senate. It accepted the amendment offered by Mr. McKinley, which passed 
by a voice vote on April 18.

                              {time}  1610

  This amendment, known as the ``coal ash provision,'' is an important 
provision; and I, like many others, do not want to see it derail the 
entire transportation bill in its entirety. But I think if this body 
were to follow the instructions of the House, both in this motion and 
in the previous motion adopted by Mr. Walz of Minnesota, which 
instructed conferees to report back by June 22, then I believe we would 
have a transportation bill that this Nation would benefit from and our 
American workers would benefit.
  Since 1980, the EPA has struggled to figure out whether coal ash 
should be regulated under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act 
and, if so, in what fashion. As of this date, 32 years later, no EPA 
regulation is in place.
  The Agency had its shot, and now it's time to move on. The provision 
by the House is aimed at the States bolstering their programs governing 
the regulation of coal ash and includes enforcement actions if they 
fail to do so.
  Given the nexus between the use of coal ash and the manufacturing of 
cement and that product's use in our transportation system, it is an 
appropriate matter to be considered within the scope of the conference 
of the transportation bill.
  Contrary to some remarks we've heard on the floor today, these 
motions to instruct do not delay the work of conferees. Being a 
conferee myself, I know that the conference continues to meet with 
proposals going back and forth.
  We're currently playing ping-pong on a lot of these proposals, but 
that's good. It means that we're talking, and it means the process is 
going forward. I'm very optimistic and hopeful that we can reach 
agreement sooner rather than later so that America's economy can 
continue to recover and American workers can go back to work with 
  Mr. MARKEY. Mr. Speaker, I inquire of the Chair how much time is 
remaining on both sides.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Womack). The gentleman from 
Massachusetts has 5\1/2\ minutes remaining, and the gentleman from West 
Virginia has 9 minutes remaining.
  Mr. MARKEY. Mr. Speaker, I then continue to reserve the balance of my 
  Mr. McKINLEY. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Kentucky (Mr. Whitfield).
  Mr. WHITFIELD. I rise today to support Mr. McKinley's motion to 
instruct conferees to the highway transportation bill to stop the EPA 
from regulating coal ash as a hazardous material.
  Since the formation of the EPA, the EPA has looked periodically at 
coal ash. Most recently, they did it in 1993 and 2000 under the Clinton 
administration and came to the conclusion that coal ash does not 
warrant being regulated as a hazardous waste.
  The only difference between today and then is that this 
administration is determined to put the coal business out of business, 
yet America gets about 48 percent of its electricity from coal. We 
cannot expect to meet the demands of this Nation's electricity needs 
over the next 20 years without coal.
  If the EPA is successful in treating coal ash as a hazardous waste, 
which is quite radical, we know that independent analyses have shown 
that the costs associated with road and bridge building in America will 
increase by more than $100 billion over a 20-year period. And in 
America today, to stimulate our economy, to get our goods to market, we 
need to improve the infrastructure of this country.
  At this time in our Nation's history, with the economic problems that 
we have, to try to increase the cost for construction to meet the vital 
needs of this country is really unconscionable, particularly when 
there's been no causal relationship found between coal ash and health 

  Mr. WAXMAN. I continue to reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. McKINLEY. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes of the remaining time to 
the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Critz).
  Mr. CRITZ. I thank the gentleman from West Virginia for yielding.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of the McKinley motion to 
instruct conferees, asking that the bipartisan-supported coal 
combustion residuals program language from H.R. 4348 be retained in the 
final transportation reauthorization bill.
  Coal ash is of critical importance, as it is contained in the 
composition of the concrete used in our roads, bridges, and other 
infrastructure. The use of coal ash in transportation has allowed our 
country to maintain lower costs for infrastructure building.
  Studies have shown that coal ash costs 20 to 50 percent less than 
other products on the market today. During a time when our roads are 
deficient and we need solutions that are cost efficient, coal ash 
serves as a reliable resource. We need to invest in materials

[[Page H3874]]

that will allow us the highest return on investment and stretch our 
highway dollars for needed improvements.
  In addition to the cost savings that this will provide, including 
this language is also critical to support our environment and nearly 
300,000 jobs that rely on coal ash use across the Nation.
  In western Pennsylvania, I've witnessed the importance of coal ash to 
many communities in my district and surrounding areas. We have seen a 
transformation from orange skies and orange streams to an area whose 
beauty has been restored thanks to the safe use of coal ash for 
landfill, transportation use, and other purposes.
  For these reasons, I strongly urge my colleagues to include in the 
final conference report the McKinley language so critical to our 
Nation's economic and infrastructure needs.
  Mr. WAXMAN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 3 minutes.
  The way I understand the argument on the other side is that, if the 
EPA regulates coal ash and calls it hazardous, that stigma will lead 
construction companies to avoid it as a building material.
  If I could address the gentleman from West Virginia, Mr. McKinley. Is 
that an accurate statement, that you're fearful of the designation and 
the stigma of that designation as hazardous?
  I yield to the gentleman from West Virginia.
  Mr. McKINLEY. You say is there going to be a stigma?
  Mr. WAXMAN. Is your fear that, if the EPA regulates coal ash and it's 
called hazardous, that that designation will be a stigma and will lead 
to the nonuse of coal ash by construction companies as a building 
  Mr. McKINLEY. Mr. Waxman, I believe there is a stigma associated with 
that pending decision, yes.
  Mr. WAXMAN. That is your fear?
  Mr. McKINLEY. There is a stigma associated with the misinformation 
that's been disseminated. That's correct.
  Mr. WAXMAN. My colleagues, the thing that is so confusing to me is 
that coal ash is often used as a substitute for Portland cement in 
concrete to lower the costs; it reduces the waste, reduces the 
greenhouse gas emissions, and we don't need to pass legislation to have 
that happen.
  But I want to point out that Portland cement is designated as 
hazardous. It's a hazardous chemical under the OSHA Hazard 
Communications rule. It's a hazardous substance under the Superfund 
amendments. It's a hazardous substance under Federal Hazardous 
Substances Act, and it's a hazardous material under the Canadian 
Hazardous Products Act. But Portland cement continues to be used 
extensively in concrete and transportation projects.
  The EPA is not seeking to call coal ash ``hazardous.'' They want to 
call it a ``special waste.'' But even if they called it hazardous, why 
would it not be used the way Portland cement is now used, even though 
that substance is designated as hazardous in all these other statutes?
  Mr. McKINLEY. Will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. WAXMAN. I yield to the gentleman from West Virginia.
  Mr. McKINLEY. What we're trying to do is allow more time for the 
conference committee to work rather than to debate the pros and cons of 
the environmental aspects of it. We want the committee to continue to 
work, to reach a compromise. And I've been told there's been great 
progress being made on that, but don't stop at this 11th hour. They're 
close to making it happen. We want to stand beside them and make sure 
they finish their work on these negotiations.

                              {time}  1620

  Mr. WAXMAN. Reclaiming my time, I yield myself 1 additional minute.
  The reason I ask for more time is, as I understand the McKinley bill, 
which was adopted by the House, it would prohibit EPA from regulating 
coal ash because it would be designated possibly as hazardous. And the 
argument has been that that would be a problem when it is to be used as 
a substance for concrete and building materials. But I don't believe 
that to be the case.
  Now I think that the committee, with the Senate and the House, ought 
to complete its business. But I don't think your amendment is needed 
under any circumstances. That is why I urge Members to vote against 
this instruction because it is trying to interject in that highway bill 
something that's really not part of the highway bill and something 
that, on its own, should not be adopted in the form of the McKinley 
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. McKINLEY. Mr. Speaker, how much time do I have remaining?
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from West Virginia has 5\1/2\ 
minutes remaining. The gentleman from California has 1\1/2\ minutes.
  Mr. McKINLEY. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes of my time to my fellow 
engineering colleague from the State of Texas (Mr. Barton).
  (Mr. BARTON of Texas asked and was given permission to revise and 
extend his remarks.)
  Mr. BARTON of Texas. I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  I wasn't planning on speaking on this bill. But I was listening in my 
office to the debate between the proponents and opponents of the bill 
and felt moved to come over and try to answer some of the questions 
that the opponents have asked of the bill.
  EPA is supposed to be a fair referee. They're supposed to say: If 
it's a strike, it's a strike; if it's a ball, it's a ball; if he's out, 
he's out; if he's safe, he's safe. But the Obama EPA is not a fair 
referee. It's not a fair umpire. The Obama EPA has a preconceived--what 
I consider to be a radical environmental agenda, and they appear heck-
bent to impose it on the American people, whether there is a scientific 
rationale or not.
  As Mr. Olson of Texas just pointed out, the President, as a 
candidate, said that he basically wanted to try to make it impossible 
to build any more coal-fired power plants in America. When he became 
President, he appointed a regional administrator down in Texas, Dr. 
Armendariz, who said that he wanted to try to put hydraulic fracturing 
out of business and brought a case against Range Resources in Texas 
that was thrown out on its face because of the lack of evidence that 
there was any environmental damage caused by hydraulic fracturing, in 
this specific case in Parker County.
  You had the civil servant at the EPA early in the Obama 
administration, when they were considering their endangerment finding, 
which they had to impose in order to say they could regulate greenhouse 
gases, they had a career civil servant who sent a detailed, I think 50- 
or 60-page analysis of the proposed endangerment finding and basically 
said it was hogwash. And he got back emails from within the White House 
and the higher rankings at political subdivisions of the EPA that said, 
Don't tell us the facts. We've already made up our minds.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman has expired.
  Mr. McKINLEY. I yield the gentleman an additional 1 minute.
  Mr. BARTON of Texas. This same Dr. Armendariz made a comment not too 
many years ago that he wanted to crucify industry. He has since 
resigned because of those comments.
  Those of us who support the McKinley motion to instruct do so because 
we don't think the current EPA is fair. Sometimes we have to tell the 
EPA what to do because they seem to be incapable of applying basic 
scientific methods, scientific principles. They want to impose a 
radical environmental agenda, apparently. And some of us don't think 
that's right, and we don't think it's good for the American people and 
the American economy.
  So I strongly support what my good friend from West Virginia is doing 
because it at least makes it possible for a source that, for years and 
years and decades, has been used without any problem at all to continue 
to be used. And I think that's a good thing. So I rise in support. I 
thank the gentleman for the time, and I hope the House will adopt his 
motion to instruct conferees.
  Mr. WAXMAN. Mr. Speaker, my colleagues, the gentleman from Texas told 
us that he was so moved to come here to correct the record. But he told 
us three things that are absolutely inaccurate:
  The President has never said he doesn't want to build new power 
plants in this country. It is not true. The gentleman from Texas who 
worked for the EPA never said that this administration, or that he 
personally, was against hydraulic fracturing. It's just not true.

[[Page H3875]]

And the analysis of the endangerment finding by the Bush administration 
was signed off on not by just a career civil servant, but by the head 
of the EPA, appointed by President Bush.
  So when you get these wrong statements in your head, you can dream up 
a reason to be paranoid about EPA. EPA wants to protect the public 
health and safety in regulating coal ash, but in doing so, they will 
not prevent coal ash from being used for other building purposes.
  I urge that we defeat this motion to instruct, and I yield back the 
balance of my time.
  Mr. McKINLEY. Mr. Speaker, it's fairly obvious that a lot of the 
folks that have been speaking on the other side of this issue have not 
read the bill and don't understand what's included in the provision. 
But perhaps reading the bill, reading the amendment would have given 
them greater insight as to the role of the EPA. Because by virtue of 
this amendment, we are giving them great insight, great involvement in 
the proper disposal of the amount of fly ash that's not recycled.
  So, Mr. Speaker, it really just comes down to an issue being very 
clear. Our opponents are just opposed to the coal industry. They're 
opposed to the men and women working in our coal industry. They're 
opposed to the 700-plus coal-fired electric utilities. They're opposed 
to keeping utility costs low. There is a war on coal, Mr. Speaker. And 
it's time that we stand up for the coal workers, the men and women 
working in the coalfields all across the United States, and for the men 
and women and the consumers that use electricity at low cost.
  Now let's go to what the Departments of Interior and Transportation 
have said: The Department of Interior said that they concur that if fly 
ash is designated as hazardous waste, as is being considered, fully or 
in a hybrid classification, it would no longer be used in concrete. It 
also said, ``Fly ash costs approximately 20 to 50 percent less than the 
cost of cement.'' The Department of Transportation: ``Fly ash is a 
valuable byproduct used in highway construction. It is a vital 
component of concrete and a number of other infrastructure uses.''
  Mr. Speaker, I ask all of my colleagues to join me today in 
supporting this motion to instruct conferees to continue discussing 
this bipartisan negotiation on this part of the highway bill and to ask 
their Senators to do the same. Let's maximize the use of all the money 
that we have available to build more roads, rebuild more bridges, do 
more infrastructure, but most importantly, put America back to work.
  So I encourage my colleagues to vote for this motion to instruct, and 
I yield back the balance of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Without objection, the previous question is 
ordered on the motion to instruct.
  There was no objection.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion to instruct.
  The question was taken; and the Speaker pro tempore announced that 
the ayes appeared to have it.
  Mr. McKINLEY. Mr. Speaker, on that I demand the yeas and nays.
  The yeas and nays were ordered.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to clause 8 of rule XX, further 
proceedings on this question will be postponed.

                             General Leave

  Mr. McKINLEY. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members 
may have 5 legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks 
and include extraneous materials on my motion to instruct conferees on 
H.R. 4348.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from West Virginia?
  There was no objection.