Editor's Note

The FOI Advocate is a compendium of ideas, edited story excerpts and other materials from a variety of Web sites, as well as original concepts and analysis. When the information comes directly from another source, it will be attributed and a link will be provided whenever possible. The blog relies on the accuracy and integrity of the original sources cited. We will correct errors and inaccuracies when we become aware of them.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Enviro groups ask for list of 'high hazard' disposal sites

A band of environmental groups filed an FOIA request after the EPA declined to provide information on which coal ash sites have been deemed a national security risk. Apparently, the Department of Homeland Security has designated 44 massive coal ash piles as high hazard, but the EPA was informed not to release the site locations due to national security risks.
A coalition of environmental groups today formally asked the Department of Homeland Security, the Army Corp of Engineers and Environmental Protection Agency to make public the list of 44 "high hazard" coal ash disposal sites across the country. The Freedom of Information Act request was submitted by the Sierra Club, Earthjustice, the Environmental Integrity Project, and Natural Resources Defense Council after the EPA refused to disclose which of the hundreds of coal ash sites pose such a threat to nearby communities that they have been deemed by the Obama administration to be a national security risk.

"The Department of Homeland Security has designated 44 massive coal ash piles as 'high hazard' because they present a clear and present danger to the people living near them," said Bruce Nilles, Director of the Sierra Club's Beyond Coal Campaign. "People have a right to know if mountains of toxic coal ash are threatening their communities so they can take action and put pressure on their local utilities to demand clean up."

The EPA was instructed by the Department of Homeland Security not to release information about the location of high hazard dams containing coal ash. Unspecified national security concerns were cited as the reason for withholding this critical information from the public, even though the locations of other hazardous sites, such as nuclear plants are publicly available.

More here.

No comments: