On Monday, EPA published its proposed coal ash regulations in the Federal Registrar. If you happen to be going to the beach this weekend here is the link to this light summer reading. Of course you can also check out a brief summary at earthjustice.
For North Carolina and our 17 coal ash sites, it's imperative that the EPA regulate coal ash as a 'special waste'. This stronger regulation will close wet ponds within 5 years, mandate groundwater monitoring and most importantly allow for federal oversight and enforcement. The other weaker option would only suggest recommendations that would not be enforceable by EPA.
In order to ensure we get the stronger rule the Sierra Club is launching a grassroots campaign to educate the public and our leaders. Rep. Pricey Harrison has started circulating a sign-on letter that will be sent to EPA asking that we get a public hearing. Our big 'ask' right now, is that you call your state legislator and request that he/she sign that letter.
I also spoke with people from EPA, if you want to contact EPA directly and ask for a hearing in NC you can use these two emails.
firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
Alex and Steve will be making the final decisions on where these hearings are located. Please take a minute to email them. I'd even make the request in the emails subject line. ex. PLEASE HOLD COAL ASH HEARING IN NC.
We're expecting to hear about the final locations in July. Until then we'll be busy creating a drum beat around this important issue.