The May 29 Point of View “What we learned about coal ash” by Michael Jacobs, Gov. Pat McCrory’s former chair of the now-defunct Coal Ash Management Commission, demonstrated how fortunate we are that the North Carolina Supreme Court struck down that commission.
We learn that Jacobs – without receiving presentations from conservation groups who raised the coal ash issues in the first place – believes he has all the answers. Contrary to Jacobs’ conclusions, conservation and community groups have been encouraging the recycling of coal ash into concrete for years.
In South Carolina, conservation groups negotiated agreements with all the utilities in that state requiring excavation and removal of coal ash, and the South Carolina utilities are excavating coal ash from every utility-owned unlined riverfront pit in the state.
A new $40 million recycling facility is being built on the grounds of one of its coal-fired plants to repurpose coal ash for concrete recycling.
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Our legislature could require Duke Energy to excavate one or more or all of the remaining seven sites for concrete manufacture.
As in South Carolina, the excavation will create jobs and eliminate pollution; the arsenic contamination at South Carolina sites has already dropped by up to 90 percent.