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Coal Ash Comment Period Extended To April

Coal ash waste in piles before being shipped to a landfill or pond.
Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC)
Coal ash waste in piles before being shipped to a landfill or pond.

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The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality has added two more weeks for public feedback on coal ash disposal and recycling.  DEQ held a meeting on that topic in Wilmington last month. The agency decided to extend the comment period after citizens said they wanted more time to provide feedback on the rules.

At the February meeting in Wilmington, attendees complained that they didn’t have time to go through the DEQ document on coal ash. The new proposed coal ash disposal and recycling rules are 89 pages long.

Now concerned citizens and stakeholders will have until April 6th to get their comments to DEQ.

The rules address coal combustion residuals, which includes coal ash, a waste product generated when coal is converted into electricity. This waste is currently stored in landfills and ponds.

The draft rules incorporate specific requirements from federal rules on how disposal areas are to be designed, constructed and operated. Jamie Kritzer is a spokesman for DEQ.

“What we will do is we will present a final draft, of the coal ash rules to the full North Carolina Environmental Management Commission later this year. Before a 60-day formal public comment period starts.

“The feedback we are receiving now, all of it will be considered as we move forward through this process of rule development.”

The DEQ has also added a public meeting prior to the deadline. It’s at the Gastonia Conference Center on March 27.

Copyright 2018 WHQR

Vince Winkel joined the WHQR news team in March, 2017. He had previously been covering business and economics for the Greater Wilmington Business Journal.
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