coal ash

State Employee Reclassification

Letters: Re-classifications should be reconsidered

The Citizen-Times
6:56 a.m. EST December 12, 2016

Laura Leslie of WRAL recently reported that the Legislature may introduce a bill in the upcoming special session to reduce the number of state employees subject to reclassification as political appointees from 1,500 to 300.

The need for this bill comes from a law passed in 2012 (by the 2012 Republican majority in anticipation of McCrory’s win) that increased the number of state employees subject to reclassification from 300 to 1,500.

Duke's Outsourced Coal Ash Lies Hit Lee County

Duke Outsourcing Its Coal Ash Lies

Duke Energy’s coal ash problem has hit another snag this week. According to The Rant, Charah, Inc. (the company Duke has contracted to handle its coal ash) lied on its permit requests with the state twice.

First, Charah claimed the clay mine they would be using for the coal ash dump would be returned “to its original topography” and that the dumping would “take place outside of a 50-foot buffer zone from any wetlands.”

However, as Sanford’s Environmental Affairs Board found out last night, these are both not true. Charah will pile coal ash 50 to 60 feet higher than the original topography, and Charah has since “applied for four permits to mitigate damage to wetlands” that are supposed to be protected by the 50-foot buffer.

When is a dump not a dump?

It's a great big hole in the ground that's going to be filled with waste materials. Lee County officials say that's a dump. State officials say it's not.

Lee commissioners’ chairman Charlie Parks says the Duke-Charah plan appears to be a safe use for ash – except for what they call it.

“We think this is a landfill like anything else,” he said. “You can call it what you want, but it’s a hole in the ground and you’re filling it up.”

He blinded them with science

North Carolina's poorly conceived Coal Ash Commission is off to a rocky start. To begin with, Guvnor Pat is suing Tillisberger because Pat doesn't get to appoint enough of his cronies to the commission.

And in case you missed it, the person appointed to fill "science seat" on the commission isn't all that strong on science.

Coal ash commission: sorry, no Democrats allowed

Demonstrating their usual level of diversity, DAG McCrony and Tillisberger could not find one single Democrat who is qualified to fill one of the nine positions on the state's coal ash commission, set to meet for the first time tomorrow.

Two-thirds of the General Assembly earn a failing grade on the environment

Two-thirds of the General Assembly Earn a Failing Grade on the Environment
Legislators take the state backwards on environmental initiatives

Raleigh, NC- Today, Environment North Carolina released its 2014 legislative scorecard, and the results don’t bode well for our state’s environment.

“From fast-tracking fracking to failed action on coal ash, legislators showed their true colors this session, and it’s clear that their priority is not protecting North Carolina’s air, water or open spaces,” said Dave Rogers, Field Director with Environment North Carolina.

Coal Ash Wednesday: "Cap and leak" bill overshadowed by GOP power struggle

Fighting over who gets to rule the contaminated sand box:

But as the proposed law progressed through the General Assembly, McCrory objected to the proposed independent legislative commission that would bar his executive office from any influence over the cleanup of coal ash. Most of the commission’s members would be appointed by the legislature.

He and his counsel wrote strongly worded letters to legislative leaders, warning them that the commission would create useless bureaucracy and could violate North Carolina’s constitution. “We’ve been doing this for years, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s right,” McCrory said. “I need to raise these questions, not only for the executive branch but for future governors.”

I've been here at BlueNC, looking at state-level politics and policy since 2007, and I've paid particular attention to newly-created boards and commissions. The character of these bodies often gives you a glimpse into what they will do in the future, the direction in which the legislation will lead the state. Strictly from memory (without researching), the power shift proceeded thus:

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