Groups Urge Richardson To Support Coal Waste Reform

New Mexico – New Mexico advocacy groups are urging Gov. Bill Richardson to support what they call strong, federal regulations for disposal of coal combustion waste.

Thirteen groups sent the governor a letter late last week, asking him to protect New Mexicans from coal ash.

The letter comes as the federal Environmental Protection Agency considers regulating disposal of the toxic leftovers from burning coal for electricity.

A 2008 spill at a coal ash pond in Tennessee, which flooded hundreds of acres, damaged homes and killed fish in nearby rivers, helped raise awareness about the contents of coal combustion waste and has put pressure on the government to take action.

The groups say New Mexico is among the top 10 states for production of coal combustion waste.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.