Rural cooperatives happy to see water, coal ash measure pass House

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) on Dec. 8 applauded House passage of the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act and urged its quick adoption by the Senate.

In April 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a rule to establish federal requirements for the management of coal combustion residuals, or “coal ash,” as a non-hazardous waste. NRECA supported EPA’s decision to regulate coal ash in this manner, but has sought legislation to codify the agency’s decision and give states clear enforcement authority. The coal ash provisions included in the WIIN Act would provide that clear enforcement authority.

“The WIIN Act will help electric co-ops provide affordable, reliable electricity to rural America by authorizing and promoting infrastructure projects pertaining to hydropower, flood control, water supply and emergency management,” said NRECA CEO Jim Matheson. “The bill also injects greatly needed certainty into the regulation of coal ash by giving states clear permitting and enforcement authority and reducing litigation, while providing for its continued beneficial use. We greatly appreciate the commitment and tireless effort of the House and Senate lawmakers who made reaching a deal on these provisions possible and encourage the Senate to vote on the measure without delay.”