DEQ officials visit Wilmington to hear public input on new coal ash dumping rules

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) –¬† The state is debating an overhaul of regulations on the way coal ash is dumped. They heard from neighbors in Wilmington on what they should do to improve safety for the public and the environment.

The new regulations are coming as the state tries to reflect the EPA’s¬†stance on the coal-burning residual substance. The Department of Environmental Quality is editing and adding new rules to landfills and dams where companies dump coal ash.

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They say the new rules provide specific materials and parameters a company should set up a dump in order to be granted a permit

“Our existing regulations are very short, they are for the landfill regulations, they are four to six pages long,” said Ellen Lorsheider with the Waste Management Division of the DEQ. “There’s minimal design requirements so we have beefed up thE language so that it is very very specific what the regulated community has to do.”

Other rules would require companies to release hazard material results from dumpsites on a public website instead of just to the DEQ. Public comment online is open until March 22nd. The DEQ plans to submit the new rules to the environmental management commission by May.