U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan says the federal government needs to do more to regulate coal ash ponds to prevent another spill.
The Greensboro Democrat made the remarks during a campaign appearance Monday in Raleigh. It comes amid a criminal probe about the state’s oversight of clean water rules following a spill from a Duke Energy coal ash pond that blackened the Dan River.
“I think we in North Carolina have really woken up to the disastrous problem that has just recently taken place here,” she said. “We’ve got to be sure that we clean this up and that it doesn’t take place again.”
Without getting into specifics, Hagan said it’s an issue that needs more monitoring. “We have got to have oversight on the handling, the disposal and the storage of coal ash,” she said. “When you think that just a broken pipe has caused this amount of leakage – and we know we have 36 other coal ash ponds in North Carolina – it is a serious issue.”
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Asked whether the material should be treated as hazardous waste, Hagan said she would need to review the scientific literature before taking a position.