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NC Senate Unanimously Opposes House Coal Ash Changes

The North Carolina House and Senate have found another area of disagreement to go along with the budget. One of the legislature’s top priorities—a bill to address coal ash—failed to advance to the governor’s desk Monday night.

For the bill to move on, the Senate needed to agree to changes made in the House.

Those changes gave the state’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources more say, including the ability to waive timelines for clean-up of the ponds. And, they moved an oversight commission into that same agency. Republican Senator Tom Apodaca, the bill’s sponsor, opposed both changes.

“Those two things alone really damage this bill in my opinion,” Apodaca said. “So I’m going to ask everyone not to concur so we can go to conference and straighten this out.”

The environment agency has been accused of being too cozy with Duke and is the subject of a federal investigation.

The Senate rejected the House changes, voting 0-46. Representatives from the two chambers will now work to draft a compromise.