Environmental advocates react to Senate coal ash plan

A Senate committee reviewed a coal ash clean-up bill yesterday and afterwards, the experts and advocates at the North Carolina chapter of the Sierra Club responded with a lukewarm review:

“NC Sierra Club Statement on the NC Senate’s Coal Ash Bill

RALEIGH – This afternoon the NC Senate’s Committee on Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources held an information-only hearing on the Senate’s coal ash bill that takes the place of the Governor’s proposal.

Upon the Senate’s actions, Dustin Chicurel-Bayard, communications director of the NC Sierra Club issued the following statement:

‘The Senate did well to create ambitious timelines for closure of coal ash pits in the state. However, closure standards with safeguards to ensure that coal ash is permanently separated from water are lacking in the bill.’

‘This bill lacks guidance

for the newly formed commission on how to prioritize or determine if Duke Energy should be required to remove coal ash or leave it in place with just a cap at 10 sites. Further, this bill opens up the possibility of storing coal ash in our abandoned mines, this proposal could open up a new arena of significant new problems.

‘The improvements in the Governor’s original proposal bill are outshined by the lack of enforcement mechanisms or safeguards for the public. The main priority should be to permanently isolate coal ash from our state’s waters, and this bill lacks the specifics to make that happen.’

‘We appreciate that there was no vote today and look forward to working with the Senate to improve this important bill as it moves forward.’”

In other words: Nice try guys but you’re going to have to do a heckuva lot more and better than this to get things right.


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