Earlier this year the Environmental Protection Agency announced that it would put in place rules to ensure the safe disposal of coal ash, which is basically the toxic waste leftover after coal is burned to produce electricity.
The announcement was prompted by the disaster that occurred a year and half earlier in Tennessee, when over 1 billion gallons of coal ash sludge breached its containment dam and rushed down the valley trashing homes and polluting the Tennessee river and its tributaries.
It was a nasty, devastating moment in history:
The EPA says that its new regulation on coal ash sludge will, "ensure stronger oversight of the structural integrity of impoundments in order to prevent accidents like the one at Kingston, Tennessee."
As part of the process in creating this new safety regulation, the EPA has proposed a series of public meetings for September to allow the public an opportunity to voice their opinions.
The EPA will not be holding a hearing in Tennessee. Instead they will visit Virginia, Denver, Dallas, North Carolina and Chicago.
I can only guess as to why. Most likely the EPA wants to avoid any bad PR.
But I have also heard that the new proposed coal ash regulations have been completely watered down by the Obama White House. More to come on this story for sure.
Follow Kevin Grandia on Twitter: www.twitter.com/kgrandia