C. Mosby Miller: Legislators ignoring spillage

February 21, 2014 

In the wake of the coal ash spillage, it is difficult to imagine a more complacent and ineffectual response than that of the McCrory administration. While Gov. Pat McCrory talks like he cares about the spillage along the Dan River, his actions speak otherwise.

His Department of Environment and Natural Resources has repeatedly thwarted efforts by environmental groups to hold Duke Energy responsible for its malfeasance in several such spills. For example, the DENR “punished” Duke for the Asheville-Riverbend spillage by fining it all of $99,111, or as some environmentalists have called the fine, “couch-cushion change.”

For those of us living near the closed Sutton Steam Plant area, we can only hold our collective breaths in the vain hope that Duke cleans up yet another potential disaster before it happens – a situation described by the Southern Environmental Law Center as “scary bad.” Fat chance.

Federal intervention? Recently, Congressmen Walter Jones and Mike McIntyre joined with 229 others in the House to vote down HR 3590, which would have required companies to provide regulatory agencies with data on privately stored chemicals that could imperil public water systems. Well, what else could we have expected?

C. Mosby Miller, Leland

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