Obama administration gets going on the right foot

I’m sure there are going to be many hopeful press releases like this one coming out in the next few weeks, but this is good news considering the spills over the last couple of weeks.  Check out some of the recent protests in response to TVA’s sub par response to clean up and health management in Harriman, Tn and Alabama from our friends at United Mountain Defense.

Obama pick for EPA chief to assess coal ash disposal sites

January 15, 2009

WASHINGTON President-elect Barack Obama’s pick to head the Environmental Protection Agency vowed yesterday to immediately assess hundreds of coal ash disposal sites at power plants across the country in the wake of two spills in Alabama and Tennessee.

Testifying at her Senate confirmation hearing, Lisa Jackson said the agency also will reconsider ways to regulate the ash and how it is stored, something the EPA recommended in 2000 but did not act upon.

Coal ash ponds storing waste created by burning coal are not subject to federal regulations. Oversight of the ponds and landfills varies by state.

Jackson said the agency’s decisions will be based on science and the law and not politics. Her statement was the clearest signal yet that the Obama administration plans to take the EPA in a different direction.

“Science must be the backbone of what EPA does,” said Jackson. “EPA’s addressing of scientific decisions should reflect the expert judgment of the agency’s career scientists and independent advisers.”

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