As we've documented, for just one example, in:

West Virginia Coal Association | Fly Ash Facts for Engineers | Research & Development; concerning The United States Federal Highways Administration document: "Fly Ash Facts for Highway Engineers; Report Number: FHWA-IF-03-019; Contract: DTFH61-02-X-00044; 2003; Coal fly ash is a coal combustion product that has numerous applications in highway construction (and) has been used in roadways and interstate highways since the early 1950s. In 1974, the FHWA encouraged the use of fly ash in concrete pavement with Notice N 5080.4, which urged states to allow partial substitution of fly ash for cement whenever feasible. In addition, in January 1983, the Environmental Protection Agency published federal comprehensive procurement guidelines for cement and concrete containing fly ash to encourage the utilization of fly ash and establish compliance deadlines. This document is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation, through the Federal Highway Administration, in cooperation with the American Coal Ash Association and the United States Environmental Protection Agency. The United States Environmental Protection Agency supports the beneficial use of coal combustion products as an important priority and endorses efforts by the Federal Highway Administration as described in this document";

Coal Ash has a myriad of uses in many aspects of road, and other, construction; especially as a substitute for traditional raw materials in the making of Portland-type Cement and Portland Cement Concrete; which substitution, as we have otherwise documented, and will further document, results in lower overall emissions of Carbon Dioxide and the conservation of both energy and natural raw materials.

And, a number of United States Government departments and agencies, including the US EPA itself, support and encourage the recovery and utilization of Coal Ash, as somewhat indirectly indicated, for one instance in:

West Virginia Coal Association | US EPA Headquarters Housed in Coal Ash | Research & Development

"Use of Fly Ash in WeatherBoards (TM) Fiber Cement Siding; Fly ash is a key component used in the manufacture of CertainTeed’s fiber cement siding products. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognizes fly ash as an industrial by-product of the coal combustion process in electricity-generating power plants. The EPA supports the beneficial reuse of fly ash in construction applications because it is safe and reduces the amount of coal combustion residue sent to landfill. In addition to its beneficial reuse in our fiber cement products, fly ash has been used in concrete since the 1930’s. Most notably, it has been used in several construction projects and prominent buildings, including the Ronald Reagan Government Office building, home to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Washington, D.C.".

The US Department of the Interior, through the Bureau of Reclamation, has a long history of utilizing Coal Combustion Byproducts, or, just "Products", "CCP's" as the industry now seems to prefer, as exemplified in:

West Virginia Coal Association | Federal Highway Administration Recommends Fly Ash Concrete | Research & Development; wherein the Federal Highways Administration tells us, that:

"Fly ashes are finely divided residue resulting from the combustion of ground or powdered coal. They are generally finer than cement and consist mainly of glassy-spherical particles as well as residues of hematite and magnetite, char, and some crystalline phases formed during cooling. Use of fly ash in concrete started in the United States in the early 1930's. The first comprehensive study was that described in 1937, by R. E. Davis at the University of California. The major breakthrough in using fly ash in concrete was the construction of Hungry Horse Dam in 1948, utilizing 120,000 metric tons of fly ash. This decision by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation paved the way for using fly ash in concrete constructions."

As in the above, we've presented many reports evidencing the fact that a number of Federal agencies do promote the productive and profitable, resource-conserving, utilization of CCP's.

But, as it happens, US Government Executive Branch agencies are supposed to do a little more than just "promote" the use of Coal Combustion Products.

Unless the orders were countermanded during the Bush presidency, all appropriate Federal agencies are supposed to, in fact, require, wherever possible, the productive reuse and utilization of CCP's.

As directed by United States President Bill Clinton in, all the way down in Section 402, as excerpted from the initial link in this dispatch:

"Executive Order 12873: Federal Acquisition, Recycling, and Waste Prevention

October 20, 1993

Whereas, the Nation’s interest is served when the Federal Government can make more efficient use of natural resources by maximizing recycling and preventing waste wherever possible;

Whereas, this Administration is determined to strengthen the role of the Federal Government as an enlightened, environmentally conscious and concerned consumer;

Whereas, the Federal Government should, through cost-effective waste prevention and recycling activities, work to conserve disposal capacity, and serve as a model in this regard for private and other public institutions; and:

Whereas, the use of recycled and environmentally preferable products and services by the Federal Government can spur private sector development of new technologies and use of such products, thereby creating business and employment opportunities and enhancing regional and local economies and the
national economy;

Now, Therefore, I, William J. Clinton, by the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the Solid Waste Disposal Act, Public Law 89–272, 79 Stat. 997, as amended by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (‘‘RCRA’’), Public Law 94–580, 90 Stat. 2795 as amended (42 U.S.C. 6901–6907), and section 301 of title 3, United States Code, hereby order as follows:

Section 101. Consistent with the demands of efficiency and cost effectiveness, the head of each Executive agency shall incorporate waste prevention and recycling in the agency’s daily operations and work to increase and expand markets for recovered materials through greater Federal Government preference and demand for such products.

Sec. 102. Consistent with policies established by Office of Federal Procurement Policy (‘‘OFPP’’) Policy Letter 92–4, agencies shall comply with executive branch policies for the acquisition and use of environmentally preferable products and services and implement cost-effective procurement preference programs favoring the purchase of these products and services.

Sec. 201. 'Environmentally preferable' means products or services that have a lesser or reduced effect on human health and the environment when compared with competing products or services that serve the same purpose. This comparison may consider raw materials acquisition, production, manufacturing, packaging, distribution, reuse, operation, maintenance, or disposal of the product or service.

Sec. 205. 'Recovered materials' means waste materials and by-products which have been recovered or diverted from solid waste ... ."

Sec. 207. 'Recycling' means the series of activities, including collection, separation, and processing, by which products or other materials are recovered from the solid waste stream for use in the form of raw materials in the manufacture of new products other than fuel for producing heat or power by combustion.

Sec. 301. Federal Environmental Executive. (a) A Federal Environmental Executive shall be designated by the President and shall be located within the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Federal Environmental Executive shall take all actions necessary to ensure that the agencies comply with the requirements of this order and shall generate an annual report to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), at the time of agency budget submissions, on the actions taken by the agencies to comply with
the requirements of this order.

(e) Duties. The Federal Environmental Executive, in consultation with the Agency Environmental Executives, shall:

(1) identify and recommend initiatives for government-wide implementation that will promote the purposes of this order, including:

(A) the development of a federal plan for agency implementation of this order and appropriate incentives to encourage the acquisition of recycled and environmentally preferable products by the Federal Government;

Sec. 402. Affirmative Procurement Programs. The head of each Executive agency shall develop and implement affirmative procurement programs in accordance with ... this order.

(a) Agencies shall establish affirmative procurement programs for all designated EPA guideline items purchased by their agency. For newly designated items, agencies shall revise their internal programs within one year from the date EPA designated the new items.

(b) For the currently designated EPA guideline items, which are: concrete and cement containing fly ash; ... agencies shall ensure that their affirmative procurement programs require that 100 percent of their purchases of products meet or exceed the EPA guideline standards unless written justification is provided that a product is not available competitively within a reasonable time frame, does not meet appropriate performance standards, or is only available at an unreasonable price.

William J. Clinton
The White House,
October 20, 1993."


Now, since we've all been conditioned to think of, and treat, our Coal Combustion Byproducts as some sort of toxic, or otherwise hazardous, or at best valueless, waste, we rather expect that all of our Coal Ash would be "available at" a most definitely not-"unreasonable price".

And, we have some questions:

Was this Executive Order rescinded or otherwise countermanded by the subsequent administration?

If so, shouldn't it be reinstated?

If not, has it been, in the past two decades since it was posted, and is it now being, complied with?

If not, why not?

If so, how and where?

Who, specifically, is the "Federal Environmental Executive" who is supposed to taking "all actions necessary to ensure that the agencies comply with the requirements of this order", so that we can ask her or him those last two questions?

And, aren't all of those foregoing questions ones that any genuine Coal Country journalist would be interested in getting answers to; those Coal Country journalists, that is, who haven't already packed up their hearts and their ditty bags, and moved, lock, stock and soul, to Gasland?

West Virginia Coal Association - PO Box 3923 - Charleston, WV 25339 | 304-342-4153 | website developed by brickswithoutstraw