Discussions Weaken Proposed Coal Ash Storage Regulations

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) – A report says utility representatives and state regulators revised and weakened a proposal to regulate the storage of hazardous coal ash near Kentucky power plants before allowing the public to comment.

WFPL-FM reports that a September 2015 draft of regulations was extensive, but many of the specifics had been removed by the time the proposal was submitted to the Legislative Research Commission in October 2016. The station reports records show state regulators met at least four times that year with utility representatives to discuss the regulations.

Kentucky Resources Council environmental attorney Tom FitzGerald said such one-sided input from industry is unprecedented in recent years.

Energy and Environment Cabinet spokesman John Mura defended the process, saying it’s common to have informal discussions about proposed regulations with affected industries. He said the proposal was revised again after getting public comments in November.