Senator McLaurin calls for coal ash clean-up

February 20, 2014

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Sen. Gene McLaurin issued the following statement regarding the Feb. 2 coal ash spill on the Dan River.)

In light of recent reports on the coal ash spill that occurred on Feb. 2 at a Duke Energy plant on the Dan River, the Joint Legislative Environmental Review Commission (ERC) met on Monday to hear from the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Duke Energy, environmental advocacy organizations and the public.

As a member of the ERC, I had the opportunity to learn more about how the spill was initially reported, disclosed to the public, and what efforts are under way to contain and clean up the coal ash and the Dan River, a primary source of drinking water and recreation for thousands of citizens in N.C. and Virginia. This is a serious issue. I believe we must do a better job in the future at setting standards to assure a safe and healthy water supply for our citizens, businesses, and the agricultural community. In addition we must establish an appropriate timeline for clean-up efforts in this situation. As your state senator, I am committed to working to strengthen and improve our laws to protect this most precious natural resource - our water supply. During this meeting, our committee asked DENR officials to establish a timeline for clean-up. I will follow this issue closely and keep you informed.

Attached please see an article from the Richmond Daily Journal, by Editor Kevin Spradlin, about the Environmental Review Commission meeting:

Please know that I will work hard to ensure that we protect our water supply not only for the present but also for our children and grandchildren.