Thanks to all who helped get HB 879 out of one committee and into the Rules Committee. It needs to get out of there to the full Georgia House by this Wednesday February 28, 2018.
So please contact your Georgia state legislators to ask them to back both bills that will help keep coal ash off our lands and out of our waters.
There’s more about the bills below.
“Water resources; notice to local governing authorities prior to the dewatering of coal combustion residual surface impoundments; provide”
Georgia Power is retiring many coal plants (good, although they’re mmostly replacing them with natural gas plants; not so good), and this involves dewatering coal ash ponds near those plants. This is the one now in the Rules Committee. Rep. Jay Powell of Camilla, in District 171, which includes the west half of Colquitt County, is on the Rules Committee, 404.656.5103, firstname.lastname@example.org. (Rep. Powell was the principal sponsor of HR 158 against state fee diversions, recently passed 166:1 by the GA House.)
“Solid waste management; safe disposal of coal ash in municipal and commercial solid waste landfills; provisions”
This bill is still stuck in the House Natural Resources and Environment (HNRE) Commitee. Georgia Power wants to ship that coal ash to local landfills. Georgia Water Coalition’s policy on that I think is OK with appropriate regulation. WWALS goes beyond that and says no coal ash in landfills in the Suwannee River Basin.
Mercury from Coal Plant Scherer north of Macon goes up in the air and comes down in our Alapaha River. Coal ash from Tennessee and Florida is in the landfill in Lowndes County, Georgia that is a quarter mile uphill from the Withlacoochee River. Even the landfill owner doesn’t want any more coal ash, because it costs extra to keep it separate from other waste to prevent chemical reactions.
So please call or email your Georgia state legislator this weekend, so they can vote Monday.
-jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®
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