NAS Waste Impoundment Study Posted: March 26, 2001
Despite the ready availability of safer, cost-competitive approaches to coal waste disposal, Congress funded a $2 million dollar study of coal waste impoundments, which includes a study of alternatives and also how to better engineer and site the impoundment structures.
To make matters worse, despite clear Congressional demand that the study include representatives of labor, citizen and environmental interests, the National Academy of Sciences committee is stacked with individuals that have conflicts of interest, and the committee consultants include the firm that designed the Martin County Coal impoundment whose release of slurry that caused the catastrophic damage last October, a coal engineer who actively represents the industry and has an obvious conflict of interest because of such representation, and an employee of Consol Energy, the company whose coal waste impoundment in Virginia was one of the two with significant releases in 1996.
I have attached the comments I prepared for the Citizens Coal Council which were submitted to the National Academy of Sciences. Please send a letter demanding that they suspend further work until a balanced panel is appointed, eliminate all representatives with conflicts-of-interest from both the Committee and the consultants, and seriously study the availability of other, safer technologies for coal waste disposal.
The current study panel is contrary to federal law and the NAS should be held accountable for how it spends taxpayer money. The public who live in the shadow of these unnecessary waste impoundments deserve better.
To send a comment, go to: The NAS website
and refer to the Study On Preventing Coal Waste Impoundment Failures and Breakthroughs, Project Identification Number BESR-U-01-01-A and please send me a copy of your comments.