The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality has drafted a new set of coal ash rules to govern the way coal ash is handled in the state, and is soliciting input. Residents of the state are invited to attend one of three upcoming hearings or submit comments online before October 15.
Sept. 20, 6 p.m.: Mitchell Community College Building B (MCB 117 Multipurpose Room), 219 N. Academy Street, Mooresville
Sept. 25, 6 p.m.: Asheville Buncombe Technical Community College (Ferguson Auditorium), 340 Victoria Road, Asheville
Sept. 27, 6 p.m.: Rockingham Community College (Room 100 Auditorium in Advanced Technology Building), 215 Wrenn Memorial Drive Highway 65, Wentworth
There are many concerns with the new draft rules, which for example:
- Weaken the trigger for corrective measures for groundwater pollution;
- weaken the remediation requirement and adds exemptions that aren’t in the federal rule;
- are unclear on when remediation has to be done; and
- don’t cover common, serious coal ash contaminants such as boron, hexavalent chromium, and vanadium.
North Carolina’s communities and clean water will have the most protection if DEQ adopts strong rules for its state permitting program and does not interfere with the ability of citizens to directly enforce the federal CCR Rule. Any coal ash rules for North Carolina’s state program should make it clear that Duke Energy cannot leave its coal ash sitting in groundwater and in impoundments.
If you can’t attend a hearing, please comment today on the draft of the new coal ash rules.