The Senate and House announced Tuesday evening they have reached a compromise agreement on coal ash mitigation that would give North Carolina the strictest regulations on coal ash in the nation and make it the first state to force the closure of all coal ash ponds.
The bill sets a firm 15-year deadline for de-watering and closing all unlined coal ash ponds in North Carolina. It also stops the disposal of wet coal ash and requires future coal ash to be put to a beneficial use or into a lined facility.
As a landscape contractor, I have remained environmentally conscious in my beliefs. This is something that we needed to address and this plan will responsibly safeguard our North Carolina environment.
Additionally, the plan sets firm closure deadlines based on the overall risks certain ponds pose. It also protects North Carolina consumers by banning utility companies from recovering costs for damages caused by coal ash spills. In simple terms, this measure ensures that companies will be held accountable for any possible damage resulting from coal ash spills. Further, the proposal requires utilities with coal ash ponds to fund – at no expense to consumers – new regulatory positions and a new independent coal ash commission to ensure efficient and safe coal ash management in the future.
It’s important to deal with coal ash responsibly to ensure that we are protecting our state as much as possible. Our rivers are a beautiful and unique in North Carolina they not only make it a more pleasant place to live, they make it a place that people want to visit. Keeping our state a beautiful and expansive land means a pleasant state for our children and tourism dollars for North Carolina businesses.