As this morning’s “Monday Numbers” make clear, the coal ash clean-up legislation making its way through the General Assembly falls short in numerous ways. This statement from the League of Conservation Voters expands on this conclusion:
Legislative Watch: Not Good Enough on Coal Ash
“We could and should have done better for the citizens of North Carolina,” declared Rep. Pricey Harrison (D-Guilford).
The N.C. House last week approved its version of SB 729, “Coal Ash Management Plan of 2014″, but the bill was not the significantly strengthened alternative that conservationists had been hoping to see. Instead, it continued to show the same major flaws found in the original Senate bill, plus one associated with its proposed new coal ash board:
• It fails to assign financial responsibility for cleanup to Duke Energy and its stockholders, leaving the likelihood that ratepayers will end up paying billions to correct Duke’s coal ash management errors.
• It allows coal ash pits to be “capped in place”, avoiding genuine cleanup and leaving groundwater and surface waters vulnerable to continued leaking and contamination.
• It fails to direct expeditious closure and cleanup of most coal ash pits, allowing long delays before corrective action.
• It authorizes a newly created Coal Ash Management Commission to delay cleanups and extend deadlines even further if it concludes that needed fixes are too expensive.