Legislators passed smart coal ash plan

To the Editor:

This is a critical time for our community and all North Carolinians. Decisions being made right now by lawmakers in Raleigh could have an impact on our communities, customers’ pocketbooks and the safe management of coal ash for years to come.

Fortunately, elected officials in the North Carolina General Assembly are considering common-sense legislation that would strengthen the 2014 Coal Ash Management Act. Those revisions would help make sure decisions to close ash basins throughout the state protect the environment, people’s water supply, our economy and household budgets.

 There is broad, bipartisan support in the General Assembly, as well as from community leaders, neighbors, businesses and many environmental advocates. The proposed legislation would reestablish the Coal Ash Management Commission, which has a vital role in making sure closure decisions are based on the full range of considerations, including sound science and engineering, potential impacts to customers’ bills and disruptive truck and train traffic.

Since 2014, Duke Energy has made significant progress, moving millions of tons of ash to safe, lined disposal sites. We have a lot more work ahead of us in the months and years ahead.

There is much at stake. It is important that we get it right. We hope lawmakers and the governor will continue down a smart path for North Carolina when it comes to deciding how ash basins will be closed and how those plans affect our community and others throughout the state.

Jason Walls

District Manager, Duke Energy’s Asheville Region

Editor’s note: Gov. Pat McCrory vetoed the measure passed by both the state House and Senate that Walls is referencing. Legislators are currently said to be considering a vote to override the governor’s veto.

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