Uncategorized

Advocates blast McCrory/Duke coal ash plan

Coal ash clean upThe N.C. League of Conservation Voters has a powerful critique of the Governor’s coal ash “plan” in this morning’s Weekly Conservation Bulletin (see below). As an aside, how can DENR Secretary Skvarla and the Guv be “adamant that one size probably will not fit all”?

Another Stall on Coal Ash

Gov. Pat McCrory last week proposed legislation which would let the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) direct Duke Energy to ‘close’ its coal ash ponds – an authority which DENR already inherently has through its clean water permitting process – but leave Duke proposing how such ‘closures’ would take place.

Strip away the double-talk and it’s clear that the governor is doing little more than asking for the General Assembly’s blessing on his plan to let Duke continue to call the shots on coal ash.

‘All this is doing is attempting to put into law what Duke wants to do anyway, which is leave in place its ash at different sites where it continues to be a risk and continues to threaten communities,’ said Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) attorney Frank Holleman. More here.

The proposed legislation adds inspectors and compliance employees at DENR – a reversal of the trend under McCrory thus far – but also contains provisions that would effectively nullify the existing court order requiring Duke to immediately act to halt and clean up groundwater pollution from the ponds. More here.

WaterKeeper Alliance attorney Peter Harrison said of the proposal, ‘This approach is unacceptable because it would allow these toxic dumps to continue leaking and poisoning our rivers and groundwater supplies with toxic heavy metals for many years to come.’ (Associated Press, 4/17/14.)

In comments to reporters, DENR Secretary John Skvarla defended the approach of letting Duke leave coal ash ponds in place near at-risk waters: ‘The governor and I are adamant that one size probably will not fit all 33 ash ponds. The engineering and science is going to be a little more complicated than digging them all up and moving them to landfills.’

Environmentalists call foul over this latest rehash of the McCrory Administration’s plan to let Duke tell DENR what to do about coal ash. Governor McCrory needs to come to the realization that he is now the chief executive official of the State of North Carolina, and no longer a career employee of Duke Energy.”

Check Also

Education professor explains emptiness of for-profit charter takeover law

There’s a fine op-ed in this morning’s edition ...

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

Jim Womack has a reputation in North Carolina for being many things, but a conservationist isn’t one [...]

Just days after a North Carolina official tapped a Robeson County elementary for a controversial cha [...]

Two groups seeking state contracts to run struggling North Carolina schools have professional ties t [...]

North Carolinians will lose their “precious right to vote,” as U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader [...]

The folks running the General Assembly reached a new low this week in their efforts to dismantle our [...]

National civil rights leaders call for the rejection of North Carolina’s Thomas Farr [Editor’s note: [...]

Budgets matter, both within government and inside each household across America, because they demons [...]

Why the legislature now operates this way and why it’s a big problem The North Carolina General Asse [...]

Featured | Special Projects

NC Budget 2017
The maze of the NC Budget is complex. Follow the stories to follow the money.
Read more


NC Redistricting 2017
New map, new districts, new lawmakers. Here’s what you need to know about gerrymandering in NC.
Read more