Coal-Ash Cleanup in NC: Broken Promises, Groups Say
Thursday, June 30, 2016
RALEIGH, N.C. - After promises from Duke Energy and North Carolina's government that the coal-ash ponds in the state would be cleaned up and excavated, the state Senate is pushing ahead with legislation (HB 630) that would offer the power company a cheaper alternative. After its approval by the Senate on Tuesday, the bill now is in the House, where it is expected to pass and be signed into law by Governor Pat McCrory.
Dave Rogers, state director with Environment North Carolina, said the deal comes at the expense of taxpayers.
"Really, what it ends of being is a pretty sweetheart deal for Duke Energy," he said. "It delays the cleanup of coal-ash pits that are currently leaking all over North Carolina. Duke is far and away the biggest winner."
The proposed legislation would allow Duke Energy to leave the toxic ash in place if it supplies drinking water to neighbors of the ponds who currently are on well water. The company also would have to repair at risk dams located around some pits. Senator Tom Apodaca of Henderson County is the sponsor of the legislation and calls it a compromise between environmental groups and the energy giant that employed McCrory for 30 years before he took office as governor.
In May, the Department of Environmental Quality released risk ratings for coal-ash pits across the state and they were deemed intermediate or high risk. The state agency recommended the coal ash be removed by 2024. Now the same department and McCrory are asking lawmakers to pass a cheaper option, Rogers said.
"It's not only a broken promise, but it actually goes against the science that even Governor McCrory's administration has conducted in terms of research," he added.
Rogers said citizens still have time to contact their lawmakers and ask them to reconsider passing the legislation into law.
get more stories like this via email
SALT LAKE CITY -- In the push toward carbon-free energy production, some cities in Utah and nearby states are considering a new type of nuclear …
Health and Wellness
TAMPA, Fla. -- Move United's USA Wheelchair Football League is expanding from four cities to nine, including Tampa, to give athletes with …
CRAIG, Colo. -- What would it look like if one in four households in the country was solar-powered? A new report from the "30 Million Solar Homes" …
Health and Wellness
DES MOINES, Iowa -- People across the Midwest, including Iowans, have dealt with a series of heat waves this summer. Health experts say hotter …
NEW YORK -- Over 10,000 New York and New Jersey front-line airport workers will get health insurance as part of new contract negotiations that come at…
INDIANAPOLIS -- Voting-rights advocates applaud this week's federal appeals-court decision to prevent Indiana from purging some voters from the rolls …
BOSTON -- A new survey finds widespread public support up and down the East Coast for protecting right whales from getting tangled up in fishing gear…
CARSON CITY, Nev. - A bill just introduced in the U.S, Senate would help thousands of species stay off the Endangered Species List - including …