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Published January 18, 2013, 11:32 AM

North Dakota bill supports coal ash use, disposal

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Waste from coal-fired power plants has been used in North Dakota to make everything from highways and bridges to buildings and bowling balls.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Waste from coal-fired power plants has been used in North Dakota to make everything from highways and bridges to buildings and bowling balls.

The House Energy Development and Transmission Committee on Friday advanced a bill that makes the use and disposal of so-called coal ash "acceptable" in the state. The move comes in anticipation of new federal rules that might curb its use.

Coal and power plant officials testified in favor of the bill that allows the waste to be used or disposed of without it being regulated as a hazardous waste.

A huge spill containing coal ash in Tennessee in 2008 drew attention to the waste product. The Environmental Protection Agency has considered regulating coal ash as a hazardous waste but no federal rules have been issued yet.

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