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Dan River from a pond at a now shuttered Duke power plant. The senator said Duke's Skyland power plant in Buncombe County stores three times as much ash than the Dan River site.DENR's response to the Dan River spill has been, in a word, dismal. It waited 24 hours to issue an advisory and then insisted the water downstream was safe. DENR backed off from that claim several days later, citing an "honest mistake while interpreting the results." The agency now warns people to avoid the water.The agency finally was prodded into action a week after the spill. It is seeking to withdraw from the agreement it reached in state court with Duke Energy over the ponds. This agreement, which did not require Duke to do anything except study the situation, was viewed widely by environmentalists as a sellout.The question here is now many "honest mistakes" regulators are allowed before their dedication is questioned.DENR under Democratic governors has long been a target of environmentalists, but the situation appears to have worsened since Republican Pat McCrory, who worked for Duke for 28 years, took office. Attorney's office in Raleigh issued a grand jury subpoena calling for DENR records such as memos, reports and emails from 2010 to the Feb. 2 spill.The Associated Press reports that environmental groups have tried three times in the past year to sue in federal court under the Clean Water Act to force Duke to clear out the ponds. After negotiating with the company behind closed doors, the state proposed settlements many regard as highly favorable to the company.John Skvarla, a Raleigh businessman McCrory put in charge of DENR, says his agency's role is as a "partner" to regulated industries. Skvarla declared that his duties, as outlined by McCrory, were to "protect the environment and help the economy because DENR has such a bad name. DENR is the No. 1 obstacle to economic growth in the state of North Carolina for a long time."Where's the evidence to support that statement? In any case, pollution is not good for business. While the spill certainly has hurt the Dan River, it also has hurt Duke's image. As Scott Mooneyham wrote on these pages, "Duke does not need to tarnish (its) legacy by needlessly allowing more environmental damage."It's Converse Blue And Red

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A powerful state senator has stepped in where environmental regulators have feared to tread. The move is unorthodox, but welcome.Hendersonville Republican Tom Apodaca, chair of the Senate Rules Committee, says he is drafting legislation to force Duke Energy to empty its 14 coal ash ponds in North Carolina. This is what environmentalists have been demanding but the Department of Environmental and Natural Resources has refused to order.The bill would require Duke to dry out all the ponds and move the ash to another kind of storage site, possibly a hazardous waste landfill. "Just letting them sit there is not the answer to the problem," Apodaca said. An interim environmental oversight committee may consider the bill soon.Apodaca acted in the wake of a spill that dumped 82,000 tons of ash mixed with 27 million gallons of water into Sneakers Converse For Girls the Maroon Converse High Tops Size 3

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Heartening to see moves on coal ash mess

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how to do it. I notified Duke of our intentions. We want a solution somehow."Apodaca understands that the first duty of environmental regulation is to the public, even if the regulators do not.

unusual to set specific environmental policies in legislation, but DENR's foot dragging has given Apodaca no choice. "What I keep hearing is we don't know how to do it," he said. "Well, it's time we start figuring out Converse Ballet Slip On

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