State House Update – Furloughs and Coal Ash
In some respects, we have a “slow” week. The House is taking furlough this week while Senators debate the roads bill. In other news…
Coal Ash Disposal: After swift action in the House, Senators in the Judiciary Committee will review the coal ash disposal bills tomorrow.
Why is this a big deal? Coal ash is a dangerous waste product of coal-fired power plants containing toxic arsenic and lead that can cause breathing problems and contaminate groundwater, lakes, and streams— threatening the health of our families and the environment. Right now, an out of state waste company is trying to dump tons of coal ash in a Pickens County landfill intended for construction waste like stumps and old cement.
In a State article this weekend, Senator Larry Martin spoke to why the bills must pass: “‘It’s a no-brainer for any county that, if it’s going to be done, it’s done right.’’ Martin, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, also said the issue “has unified people on the left, on the right and everywhere in between. We don’t want it.”
Please join your neighbors in opposition of improper coal ash disposal. Ask your Senator to support bills S.1061 and H.4857!
Shoreline Management: We probably won’t see a vote to restore the permanent baseline language to S.139 from DHEC’s Blue Ribbon Committee (BRC) on Shoreline Management’s recommendations until after the Senate roads bill debate. We thank Senator Cleary for pushing for a permanent baseline in keeping with the BRC’s recommendations. We need to make sure our Senators vote for conservation. Please email your Senator about S.139 today.
Conservation Bank: We have a super-majority of the House signed on to Rep. Bingham’s Conservation Bank bill (H.4945) which was introduced last week. Please thank your Representative for adding their name to it. The bill mirrors Senator Campsen’s bill in the Senate (S.519). It will eliminate the sunset, improve the death clause, and increase funding by .05 cents (as recommended by the Wetlands Task Force). We also appreciate that the DNR Board supports both the Campsen and Bingham bills.
Dam Safety: We’re closely following DHEC’s dam safety reform bill (H.4565) in the House Ag committee. Please feel free to attend another subcommittee hearing this Wednesday. We’ll have some experts testifying.
Finally, due to changes in the legislative calendar, we’ve had to reschedule our Conservation Lobby Day and Oyster Roast. Please save the date for March 8th. We’ll have a full day of advocacy at the State House followed by a reception and oyster roast at 701 Whaley St. Stay tuned for more details. If you’d like to sponsor the oyster roast, please email me at [email protected]. Please RSVP.