New EPA Rule Dismantles Waste Disposal in Remote Areas of Alaska

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today issued the following statement after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a proposed Federal Plan for Commercial and Industrial Solid Waste Incineration (CISWI) units, which directly impacts entities in Alaska that use small remote incinerators (SRIs) to dispose of waste in remote areas where traditional disposal methods are unavailable.

“I am extremely disappointed that the EPA has chosen to push forward with a proposal that appears to do nothing to improve Alaskans’ ability to dispose of waste in a safe and responsible manner,” Murkowski said. “We have asked for cooperation on small remote incinerators, a uniquely Alaskan dilemma, for years and have yet to receive any assurances from the EPA that they have a workable solution. I will be reviewing this proposal extensively, and will continue to encourage the agency to provide Alaskans the relief we have been seeking.”   

In 2013, the EPA promulgated final standards addressing criteria and hazardous air pollutant emissions from new and existing CISWI units, including SRIs. Murkowski has raised this issue with the EPA for a number of years. She urged the administration to rethink its proposal and draft a standard that is workable for Alaska’s unique conditions. As chairman of the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee, she encouraged EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy during a hearing in April to work with her on a legislative solution if an administrative solution was not available.

Murkowski is chairman of the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.  

Related Issues: Energy