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Governor Proposes Legislation That Allows Duke To Leave Coal Ash In Place

Governor Proposes Legislation That Allows Duke To Leave Coal Ash In Place

On Wednesday, April 16, 2014, Governor McCrory released draft legislation that purports to address North Carolina’s growing problem with toxic coal ash waste. The general public became aware of this issue after the February 2nd spill of 39,000 tons of the toxic sludge into North Carolina’s Dan River. Unfortunately, the Governor's proposal is not the type of legislation that is needed or that the public has been demanding.

Governor Proposes Legislation That Allows Duke To Leave Coal Ash In Place

Riverbend Ash Lagoons on Mountain Island Lake

Gov. McCrory’s proposal is woefully inadequate, and represents yet another gift to Duke Energy from a governor who was employed by the company for nearly 30 years. Help us tell legislators that the public wants real action on coal ash, not another sweetheart deal for Duke Energy:

The Governor’s proposal is alarming in a number of ways, but most disturbing is the similarity between his proposal andDuke Energy’s desired plan for coal ash ponds in NC.

“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 Frank Holleman, an attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center."1

The Governor’s plan barely creates any deadlines requiring Duke Energy to clean up its coal ash ponds, and would allow Duke to leave the ash in place at most of its sites. The bill gifts Duke with an amazing amount of leniency in determining what actions to take, and the few requirements outlined in the bill are grossly inadequate. Duke wants to simply cap the top of many of these toxic ponds, leaving them to sit precariously close to our waterways. But this will not protect North Carolina from groundwater contamination, toxic coal ash leaks, or catastrophic failure.

McCrory's proposal is another coal ash sham, continuing a trend of endless delay and scarce action. North Carolina’s communities threatened by these toxic coal ash ponds deserve to be protected, but McCrory seems more interested in protecting his former employer.

Tell your legislators to reject the Governor’s bill and pass legislation that closes all coal ash ponds quickly and moves the toxic ash to safe, lined storage away from our waterways:

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Jan 25, 2017 NC Riverkeeper Report
From the perspectives of 12 NC Riverkeepers, this report discusses how multiple environmental issues pose challenges in the pursuit of clean, plentiful water. Whether you are in North Carolina or downstream in South Carolina, read this report about the state of environmental enforcement.
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The Community Foundation will fund Catawba Riverkeeper's work in Gaston County.
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Click here to fill out a pollution report or to report water pollution to Catawba Riverkeeper by phone, call 1-888-679-9494 or 704-679-9494.  In addition, to informing your Riverkeeper, you should also report spills or contamination to federal, state and local environmental officials.

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Fish consumption advisories have been issued throughout the Catawba-Wateree River basin.  Many of these advisories are the result of testing initiated by Catawba Riverkeeper and confirmed by state and local officials.  For a chart identifying fish types with the applicable advisories for the Charlotte area, click here.   For more information about the fish advisories, click here.

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