Tennessee has weak coal ash regulations because the regulations have been left up to individual states, where regulators don’t always have the will or ability to properly protect local communities from coal ash disasters. After the coal ash disaster in east Tennessee in December 2008 the EPA released two options in response to calls for reform in coal ash regulation. However, a year after providing options the EPA had to delay the release of its chosen option because of pressure and comments from the public that made them question the best way of moving forward. One of the options was for the Federal government to strictly oversee and enforce regulations, the other was to allow individual states to take care of coal ash regulations for themselves. Controversy about the second option comes up surrounding to fact that if the federal government had been overseeing regulations from the beginning then the 2008 disaster would never have occurred.
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