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House votes to give states control over coal ash

By Jim Abrams

Associated Press

Published: Friday, Oct. 14 2011 12:29 p.m. MDT

WASHINGTON — House Republicans have pushed through legislation that gives the states the power to regulate coal ash from power plants as if it were municipal garbage, pre-empting pending federal regulations that could be a lot tougher.

The vote on coal ash disposal was the latest of several passed by the GOP-controlled House that would shift authority away from the Environmental Protection Agency and reduce federal regulations that Republicans say are burdensome, hamper economic growth and cost jobs.

Other bills have dealt with toxic emissions from power plants, cement plants and incinerators.

The bill, opposed by the White House, would restrict EPA involvement in coal ash disposal to cases where a state chooses not to act or the agency finds that the state program is deficient.

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