Pruitt EPA Should Deny New Utility Move to Weaken Federal Coal Ash Rule

Like last month’s stay on the water discharge rule, a potential stay on the Coal Ash Rule extends unconscionable risk for the people who live near coal ash pits, which can rupture or leak toxics into drinking water, while pandering to corporate utilities that have gotten away with dangerous waste handling for decades.

Pruitt EPA’s Water Pollution Delay Extends Uncertainty for Southeast Coal Plants

Since 1982, little has changed about the toxic pollution coal-fired power plants are allowed to dump in water, although change was on its way. Unfortunately, if EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has his way, our waterways and our health will remain threatened by our nation’s leading source of toxic water pollution – coal fired power plants. We will have to keep on waiting for modern, updated protections and coal plant operators face continued uncertainty over their compliance obligations – uncertainty that may actually accelerate coal’s decline. In early May, Environmental groups challenged the legality Administrator Pruitt’s stay.

In the Southeast, many power plants’ operators were already preparing to meet new 2015 standards, which would go into effect in 2018, updating pollution control technology at their plants and working with state agencies to update state water discharge permits. The 2015 Effluent Limitation Guidelines (ELGs), which represents the first update to these regulations since 1982, nearly eliminates dumping of ash-contaminated wastewater, and for the first time, limits the discharge of toxic heavy metals that come from removing toxics from the air pollution stream and trapping them in sludge as part of the wastewater stream.

First Government-Owned Plant “Off the Island:” Florida’s Coal Plant Reality Show Heats Up

Who will be voted off the island next? Florida’s dwindling cast of coal plant survivors just lost two stalwart characters, government-owned St. Johns River Power Park Units 1 and 2. While this definitely refutes the new administration’s hopes for a coal revival, we are optimistic that JEA is the first of several Florida government agencies to finally give up on wasteful coal plants.

We Pay for FPL’s Mess

Below is a guest column from Grant Miller with Miami’s Community Newspapers. His column originally ran on February 6, 2017 and can be found here. We Pay for FPL’s Mess In case you haven’t heard, Japan’s Toshiba is in financial free-fall and is pulling its subsidiary Westinghouse out of the nuclear construction business due to [...]

Top 3 Coal Ash Stories to Follow in 2017

2017 is shaping up to be an important year for coal ash in the Southeast. Here are the three critical stories to watch.

Q and A: Republican seeks to build on South Carolina’s solar momentum

Former four-term South Carolina Congressman Gresham Barrett is joining with Sunrun to launch the Palmetto Conservative Solar Coalition. Their over-arching goal is to build on the momentum generated by the industry’s rapid growth spawned by unanimous passage in 2014 of “Act 236” by the South Carolina legislature and signed into law by Republican Gov. Nicki Haley. That law allows for solar sales by third parties and enables net metering.

SELC, faith groups keep pushing for solar access in N.C.

Guest post from the Southern Environmental Law Center and posted originally on their blog, here. As the North Carolina Court of Appeals considers a Greensboro church’s use of a popular solar financing method, SELC and faith groups from across the state continue to support the call for greater access to affordable clean energy. This week, SELC weighed [...]

BREAKING NEWS: Waterkeeper Alliance and Upper Neuse Riverkeeper Respond to Duke Energy Cooling Pond Dam Breach of Quaker Neck Lake in Flooding Aftermath of Hurricane Matthew

Today, Waterkeeper Alliance and Upper Neuse Riverkeeper are responding to and documenting the breach of a 1.2-billion-gallon cooling pond dam at Duke Energy’s H.F. Lee plant. The breach occurred just minutes after Duke Energy issued a statement claiming that the “Ash basin and cooling pond dams across the state continue to operate safely; in fact, we’ve been pleased with their good performance during the historic flooding Hurricane Matthew brought to eastern North Carolina.”

Public window into Florida utility planning opens, shuts

While Floridians await a Public Service Commission (PSC) ruling later this year on a 24% rate hike for Florida Power & Light, the Commission is also considering another matter: acceptance of Ten Year Site Plans from the largest state utilities. The Ten Year Site Plan is a summary of Florida’s largest power companies’ resource plans for the next ten years. This year’s Site Plans rely on continuing to run old coal plants and building more natural gas fired power.

Where the 2016 Candidates Stand on Energy Issues: NC Governor Pat McCrory

2016 Candidate Series: Leadership from a state’s governor is critical to setting the tone for energy policies, like REPS, and this blog series aims to inform voters on the policy stances regarding energy and climate issues that face North Carolina. First we evaluate current North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory, who is running for re-election this November. Pat McCrory worked for Duke Energy for 29 years and served as Charlotte’s longest-running mayor before retiring in 2008 to run for Governor of North Carolina. Prior to his 2012 gubernatorial election, Governor McCrory also served as a champion for Americans for Prosperity, the Koch brothers-backed anti-clean energy organization.