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. If you don’t know who your representative is, see Georgia My Voter Page.

Meeting, Board
Photo: John S. Quarterman for WWALS, Deep South Solid Waste Authority

Wednesday I went to the quarterly board meeting of the Deep South Solid Waste Authority, which has some sort of authority over the landfills in Lowndes County, Georgia, apparently mostly distributing funds from tipping fees. I asked about coal ash. They reminded me that the landfill is privatized, and directed me to the representative of its owner, Advanced Disposal Services (ADS), in the blue shirt in the foreground. I had a nice chat with him afterwords and will follow up later. For now, I’ll say he confirmed there is coal ash in that landfill including from JEA in Jacksonville, Florida, and they did spread EZ-Base on the internal roads on the site. However, the landfill operator has financial incentives not to accept any more coal ash from anywhere, because keeping it costs extra for extra preparation. More on that later.

Meanwhile, please contact your Georgia state representative.

For more about coal ash, see the WWALS website.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

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