Category Archives: Coal

GA HB 879 coal ash dewatering up for full Senate vote 2018-03-15

A Georgia Senate Committee Chair from the Suwannee River Basin, Tyler Harper of Ocilla, got HB 879 out of his committee and onto the full Senate floor for a vote soon. Please remind your Georgia state Senator to vote for it so we’ll get to know more about when Georgia Power (or anybody else) is dewatering a coal ash pond, planning to shop it to local landfills.

Wes Wolfe, Brunswick News, 15 March 2018, Coal ash notification bill heads to full Senate,

coal ash ponds and coal ash in landfills in Georgia

The coal ash pond dewatering bill authored by state Rep. Jeff Jones received unanimous committee approval Tuesday afternoon, moving the public notification legislation one step closer to law. By making it through the state House of Representatives before the crossover deadline, and now ready for a vote by the full Senate, puts it in a rare group of bills to be so successful this session.

Senate Natural Resources and Environment Committee Chairman Tyler Harper, Continue reading

Fossil fuels are a far bigger threat than the Russians

Leaks of hazardous materials, explosions, land takings, sinkholes, frac-outs: these are far bigger threats than Texas Rep. Lamar Smith’s Committee report “that states Russian agents were attempting to disrupt U.S. energy markets and using social media to purportedly stir up protests against pipelines such as Sabal Trail,” as a reporter asked me about recently. Smith’s report doesn’t mention that solar and wind power are growing far faster than his favorite, fracked methane gas.

Energy source growth by sector
Business Council for Sustainable Energy by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, February 2018, 2018 Sustainable Energy in America.

Elsewhere I already looked behind Lamar Smith’s fossil fuel smoke and mirrors, and found I post more on social media than the tiny Russian numbers that horrify him.

His actual examples are seriously rolling-on-the-floor laughable, such as this: Continue reading

Coal ash dewatering bill HB 879 passed 169:3 on crossover day 2018-02-28

On the very last possible day, the Georgia House passed the coal ash dewatering bill, HB 879, 169:3 (with 2 not voting and 6 excused), yesterday, on crossover day (after which bills cannot move from the Georgia House to the Senate).

Thanks to every Georgia House member from the Suwannee River Basin for voting for GA 879: Patty Bentley (District 139), Buddy Harden (148), Ed Rynders (152), Clay Pirkle (155), Dominic LaRiccia (169), Penny Houston (170), Jay Powell (171), Sam Watson (172), John Corbett (174), John LaHood (175), Jason Shaw (176), Dexter Sharper (177), and Jason Spencer (180). Thanks to all the WWALS members who contacted any of them.

Plant-bowen-ash-pond,
Georgia Power Plant Bowen Ash Pond Dewatering Plan, found on GA-EPD Coal Ash Pond Dewatering Plans.

Despite the hard work of the Georgia Water Coalition, HB 880, “Solid waste management; safe disposal of coal ash in municipal and commercial solid waste landfills”, never made it out of Continue reading

Georgians Want Coal Waste Laws Fixed

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Georgians Want Coal Waste Laws Fixed

Hahira, GA, February 27, 2018 — “We don’t want coal ash in our rivers or in our wells, and we don’t want any more mercury in our Alapaha River from coal plants, so we back Georgia House Bill 879 to inform Georgians what Georgia Power and others are doing with their coal ash,” said Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman. He added, “Ninety percent of Georgians agree on this, and Georgia Water Coalition has helped this bill get very close to passing. You can push it through by crossover day by getting your state legislators to vote on it today or tomorrow.”

Dewatering notification: 90%, Poll

Here is an easy way to send email to your Georgia state legislators:
http://www.protectgeorgia.org/stop-coal-waste-pollution.html#/58/

For more background on these bills, see: Continue reading

Progress and more to do to Stop Coal Ash Pollution in Georgia

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.

Stop Coal Waste in Georgia

Here’s an easy way to send email to your Georgia statehouse Representative and Senator.

There’s more about the bills below. Continue reading

Stop Coal Ash Pollution in Georgia

Please contact your Georgia state legislators to ask them to back two bills that will help keep coal ash off our lands and out of our waters.

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.

Stop Coal Waste in Georgia

Here’s an easy way to send email to your Georgia statehouse Representative and Senator.

There’s more about the bills below. Continue reading

No coal ash in our rivers or landfills: GA Coal Ash bills introduced 2018-02-08

For property rights and clean water, you don’t want coal ash seeping through groundwater, so please contact your state legislator to support the two coal ash bills now in the Georgia House of Representatives:

HB 879, “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;

HB 880, “Solid waste management; safe disposal of coal ash in municipal and commercial solid waste landfills; provisions”
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.

coal plant and ash ponts

Please call or write: your Georgia state representative.
Thanks to the six bill sponsors, but none are in the Suwannee River Basin. Let’s see if we can fix that. Continue reading

GA coal ash committee might consider more safeguards

Georgia Power (and Florida Power & Light and Jacksonville Electric Authority) created the coal ash; they can find ways to dispose of it safely on their own land. And if FPL is shutting down coal plants, how about shutting down its Unit 4 at Plant Scherer, which sends mercury into our Alapaha River. FPL bought into that unit decades ago with the same excuses it’s using for the Sabal Trail fracked methane pipeline now: shutting down a different generating plant, and alleged (now admitted false) need for more electricity.

Georgia Power coal ash pond at Plant Scherer
The Georgia Power coal ash pond at Plant Scherer, seen here in this undated company photo, will be closed over the next three years. Fabian, Liz – Macon Special to The [Macon] Telegraph

Kristina Torres, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, More safeguards could be considered for coal ash ponds in Georgia, Continue reading

Video: Will you lead to sun and wind power? —John S. Quarterman to Tom Fanning, CEO, at Southern Company stockholder meeting 2017-05-24

Update 2017-07-28: See also VDT op-ed and letter to GA-PSC.

Five years ago I asked Southern Company (SO) CEO Tom Fanning what was his exit plan when the Big Bets on Kemper Coal in Mississippi and the two new Plant Vogtle nuclear units on the Savannah River go bad. This Wednesday SO stopped using coal at Kemper Coal after the MS PSC refused to authorize further cost overruns. Thursday GA PSC staff said Plant Vogtle is no longer economical. It is time for GA PSC to do for Plant Vogtle what MS PSC did for Kemper Coal.

We dont your coal ash in any landfill in the Suwannee River Basin --Suwannee Riverkeeper

As Suwannee Riverkeeper at this year’s meeting in May, I told Fanning we don’t want SO’s coal ash in any landfill on any river in the Suwannee River Basin; I asked him for solar panels at Moody Air Force Base to shut down a natural gas pipeline; and I questioned SO’s acquisition of Pivotal LNG with its deal to ship liquid natural gas in bomb trucks down I-75 and I-10 to Jacksonville, Florida.

I reminded our genial host of my question five years ago, with the handwriting already on the wall since the Atlanta Journal-Constitution had then just referred to Plant Vogtle as a financial quagmire. This time I asked Fanning to lead us all to sun and wind power.

In SO’s own video you can see them Continue reading

Pictures from coal movie and panel, Live Oak, FL 2017-06-09

Reporting from the event, Jim Tatum, OSFR, 10 June 2017, “From The Ashes” Screening by Suwannee St Johns Sierra Club North Florida Working Group,

The North Florida Working Group of the Suwannee St Johns Sierra Club presented an early screening of the documentary “From the Ashes” at the Live Oak Woman’s Club on June 9, 2017….


Susanna Rudolph, Joy Ezell, and Gretchen Quarterman, panelists; Photo: Jim Tatum, OSFR

After the showing Deanna Mericle lead a panel composed of Susanna Randolph, Campaign Senior Representative for Beyond Coal, Sierra Club from Orlando, Joy Ezell, active environmentalist and founder of Help Our Polluted Environment (HOPE) from Perry, and Gretchen Quarterman, Board member and treasurer of WWALS Watershed Coalition, Hahira, Georgia.

Follow the link for more pictures and text.

See also Continue reading