On Dec. 10, the North Carolina Environmental Management Commission ruled that Duke Energy and Progress Energy don't have to clean up coal ash pits leaking dangerous hard metals into the groundwater that exceed safe levels.
The commission didn't argue that the pits weren't polluting the area around them or that the chemicals weren't dangerous enough. The environment and human health lost because the commission decided to interpret state law to mean coal ash pits are exempt from the state's groundwater laws for up to 500 feet away from the edge of the slurry pond.
Coal ash pollution is dangerous wherever it occurs. It may be inconvenient for utilities to dispose of coal ash in a safe way, but the government should never put people's drinking water and health at risk to make things more convenient or cost-effective for a major company.
Tell the NC legislature to fix the law to make it clear that all dangerous coal ash pollution is unacceptable -- no matter where it occurs.
I was disappointed to hear that the North Carolina Environmental Management Commission ruled that Duke Energy and Progress energy don't have to clean up pollution from coal ash pits leaking hard metals.
It seems that ruling was based on a technicality -- that coal ash pits are exempt from groundwater laws up to 500 feet away from slurry ponds. I think that's a huge mistake. Coal ash pollution is dangerous wherever it occurs.
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Please amend the law to make it clear that all pollution that threatens our drinking water needs to be clean up -- no matter where it occurs.
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