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Benson: McCarthy's Work at EPA Should Start With Backing Off Coal Ash

Coal ash materials can also reduce energy consumption, water usage and greenhouse gas emissions. For every ton of coal ash used in place of cement, carbon dioxide emissions from cement manufacturing decrease by a ton.

As the EPA’s website says of the beneficial use of fly ash: “To the benefit of human health and the environment, recycling and use of waste materials avoid disposal and decrease these and other adverse impacts ... coal ash is primarily composed of basic minerals like calcium, silica, iron, and aluminum, which are valuable minerals that can be put to beneficial use in many ways that are safe and protective.”

The EPA took its current rule-making upon itself. The agency has no legislative or judicial deadline to do anything about coal ash. But to cast an entire industry into a regulatory tailspin for years and then refuse to resolve it is an injustice. I sincerely hope McCarthy will recognize this and will work expeditiously to correct it.

Kirk Benson the chairman and CEO of Headwaters Inc., a major manufacturer of building products and marketer of coal fly ash.

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