Under the Dome

Bill would reconstitute coal ash commission

State lawmakers will try to reconstitute the Coal Ash Management Commission, which Gov. Pat McCrory disbanded earlier this year after the N.C. Supreme Court ruled the General Assembly had overstepped its bounds by controlling most of the appointments to the commission.

The new approach gives most of the appointments to the governor, and it restores the requirement that the state Department of Environmental Quality report to the commission proposed classifications for when to close all of the coal ash basins.

The proposal will surface in a House Rules Committee meeting on Wednesday. Rep. Chuck McGrady, a Republican from Hendersonville, is leading the effort to salvage the commission.

It would give the governor five appointments to the commission, and the House and Senate would have one each. Originally, the governor, House and Senate each had three appointments, giving the legislature control.

It would require DEQ to submit recommended basin closure priorities to the commission no later than 10 days after all appointments are made. The commission would then have 120 days to act on those recommendations.

The governor would have to submit his nominations to the commission no later than 15 days after the bill became law.

The bill would also modify appointments to the Mining Commission and the Oil and Gas Commission.