Monday, October 5, 2009

'60 Minutes' on the problems with coal waste

Lesley Stahl yesterday on 60 Minutes focused on the environmental and human health threats posed by the 130-million tons of ash and other wastes produced annually in the U.S. in the process of burning coal to make electricity.

Environmentalists and others have been pressing to have the material declared a hazardous waste because it contains arsenic,
lead and other toxic materials.

The coal and power industries say such a designation would force disposal costs to skyrocket.

They argue, instead, for other "beneficial uses" of the material, for example, as fill material under golf courses.

In an interview with Stahl, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson says her agency is reviewing a number of factors including "the toxicity of the material and how it is currently managed."

Jackson said her agency "will make a regulatory proposal no later than December."

Read the entire story here or watch it below.

Watch CBS News Videos Online

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