- A measure to tighten restrictions on coal ash disposal in South Carolina appears to have a fast track through the state's legislature, with the Senate voting last week 39-0 in favor of the bill.
- If passed, the law would require coast ash be stored in Class 3 landfills, a standard South Carolina utilities already meet but could impact deals made with out-of-state utilities.The higher standard would require liners under coal ash disposal and monitoring equipment, according to the Greenville News.
- The state Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) has approved MMR Pickens LLC, based across the border in North Carolina, to construct a landfill to accept coal ash, but the proposed landfill is Class 2, and the DHEC didn't upgrade the facility to a Class 3.
All across the Southeast, coal-heavy states are trying to deal with the waste of that generation. From Georgia to Virginia, North Carolina to South Carolina, coal ash debates are now going on in state legislatures and environmental protection agencies across the region.
The Palmetto State is considering legislation that would tighten restrictions on coal ash disposal, but The Greenville News reports the law is aimed at arrangements with utilities outside the state. Utilities in South Carolina already using the higher standard, Class 3 landfills, which require drainage, liners and monitoring equipment.
“This protects our environment,” Sen. Larry Martin (R) said before the state's Senate. “This is a very solid piece of legislation.” Lawmakers apparently agreed, voting 39-0. The legislation was originally passed in the House but was amended in the Senate, so it will now head back to state representatives for another vote.
MRR Pickens has plans to build a landfill near Liberty, S.C., but FOX Carolina reported the Pickens County Council passed a resolution opposing that plan. While the landfill would be built to the tighter environmental restrictions envisioned in the bill, it is still classified as a Class 2 landfill, the Greenville News reported.