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Politics
Coal ash is the waste that remains when coal is burned. It is usually collected in a dump, known as a pond. North Carolina has more than 30 such sites in 14 different locations across the state. A pipe running under one of the ponds run by Duke Energy in Eden NC ruptured in February of 2014. The coal ash spilled, largely affecting the Dan River which flows into Virginia. The spill is the third largest of its kind in U.S. history.Many see potential complications because North Carolina's governor, Pat McCrory, worked for Duke Energy for 28 years.

NC Governor Will Sign Coal Ash Bill Into Law, But May Challenge It In Court

A Duke Energy power plant and coal ash ponds outside Asheville.
Zen Sutherland
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Flickr / www.flickr.com/photos/zen/1796555301/

Governor Pat McCrory says he plans to sign a bill to manage North Carolina’s coal ash ponds. But he may also challenge a key part of it.

The governor played a role this summer when members of the House and Senate were crafting the  plan. He made suggestions of his own on what to do with Duke Energy's 100 million tons of coal ash.

The bill is now on his desk. Over the weekend, on the talk show NC Spin, his support for it was cautious.

“I anticipate signing that," McCrory said. But "I am not happy with the commission, and we're probably going to have to do a constitutional challenge to that commission.”

A commission will oversee Duke's 33 coal ash ponds ponds as part of the plan. The governor says he should get to name more of members than lawmakers are allowing him.

“There are so many commissions being formed with total independence, and if those commissions start doing bad jobs, there's no one in control,” McCrory said.

Politically appointed panels may also play a central role in other areas like K-12 schools and Medicaid.

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