NC state representative wants a study into health effects of coa - WNCN: News, Weather

NC state representative wants a study into health effects of coal ash

Posted: Updated:
Rep. Kelly Alexander (D-Mecklenberg) is calling for a study into the long-term health effects of exposure to coal ash. Rep. Kelly Alexander (D-Mecklenberg) is calling for a study into the long-term health effects of exposure to coal ash.
  • Coal Ash SpillMore>>

  • Gov. McCrory raises concerns over Coal Ash Commission

    Gov. McCrory raises concerns over Coal Ash Commission

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 8:58 PM EDT2014-08-27 00:58:01 GMT
    Gov. Pat McCrory says he'll sign a "coal ash cleanup" bill in response to this year's massive spill, but he says he has strong issues with the legislation.
    Gov. Pat McCrory says he'll sign a "coal ash cleanup" bill in response to this year's massive spill, but he says he has strong issues with the legislation.
  • NC moves to fine Duke over coal ash pollution

    NC moves to fine Duke over coal ash pollution

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 5:37 PM EDT2014-08-26 21:37:51 GMT
    Duke Energy's Sutton PlantDuke Energy's Sutton Plant
    DENR moved Tuesday to fine Duke Energy over pollution that has been seeping into the groundwater for years from a pair of coal ash dumps at a retired power plant outside Wilmington.
    DENR moved Tuesday to fine Duke Energy over pollution that has been seeping into the groundwater for years from a pair of coal ash dumps at a retired power plant outside Wilmington.
  • DENR warns Duke Energy about coal ash at Sutton plant

    DENR warns Duke Energy about coal ash at Sutton plant

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 1:57 PM EDT2014-08-26 17:57:05 GMT
    Sutton plantSutton plant
    The N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources ahas sent Duke Energy Progress a notice of violation for the Sutton Electric Plant in New Hanover County.
    The N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources ahas sent Duke Energy Progress a notice of violation for the Sutton Electric Plant in New Hanover County.
RALEIGH, N.C. -

Rep. Kelly Alexander (D-Mecklenberg) is calling for a study into the long-term health effects of exposure to coal ash.

Alexander said the study should be conducted by the North Carolina Department of Natural Resources, the Department of Public Health or a local university with expertise in coal ash and its effect on health.

“We’ve got to have strong data that tells us what the health conditions of people are now,” Alexander said.

Thousands in North Carolina live near the state’s 33 coal ash ponds.

Alexander believes these people may have been exposed to dangerous pollutants that can lead to an array of health problems.

“Kids would come in play in this thing years ago when I was a kid,” said Jon Crawford. He lives near a coal ash pond by Belmont, North Carolina.

Duke Energy said the public shouldn’t worry.

“There is no evidence that should give neighbors any concern,” said Erin Culbert with Duke Energy.

It is the years of exposure to the ponds that worry some.

“We’re talking about things that don’t develop in the short term,” Alexander said. “They develop in the long term. We don’t want eventually to have a Love Canal situation.”

Love Canal was a site in New York used as a dumping ground for toxic chemicals by the Hooker Chemical Company until the company sold the land in 1953 for $1, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Around 20 years later, homes were built on the site leading to birth defects and health problems for residents.

Eventually, more than 800 people were relocated from the area.

Alexander said nothing like that has been recorded with coal ash. But he said the state can’t afford to wait and see if it does happen.

The state and Duke Energy should help pay for the study, according to Alexander.

“I don’t think the utilities cost should be passed on to rate payers,” Alexander said. “I think that cost should be borne by the owners of that utility.”

Alexander is calling on Gov. Pat McCrory to lead in this but if McCrory fails to act, Alexander said he would introduce a bill next year in the long session to set up a cancer cluster study.

Copyright 2014 WNCN. All rights reserved.

Steve Sbraccia

Steve is an award-winning reporter for WNCN and former assistant professor. A seasoned professional, Steve is proud to call the Triangle home since 2005 after over two decades in Boston, Mass.  More>>

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • 'Party mansion' in North Raleigh sells for $1 million

    'Party mansion' in North Raleigh sells for $1 million

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 12:42 PM EDT2014-08-26 16:42:52 GMT
    File photoFile photo
    A North Raleigh house commonly referred to as “the party mansion” sold last month for $1 million.
    A North Raleigh house commonly referred to as “the party mansion” sold last month for $1 million.
  • How to report drivers who pass stopped NC school buses

    How to report drivers who pass stopped NC school buses

    Monday, August 25 2014 5:25 PM EDT2014-08-25 21:25:40 GMT
    Thousands of motorists pass stopped school buses every day, and you can do something about it.The North Carolina Highway Patrol has a form for people who see a motorist pass a stopped school bus.Highway Patrol form to report drivers who pass school busesUnder North Carolina law, G.S. 20-217, drivers going either direction must stop when a school bus is stopped to let children off. Drivers are not supposed to continue until the bus has completed dropping the children off and begun to move agai...
    Thousands of motorists pass stopped school buses every day, and you can do something about it.The North Carolina Highway Patrol has a form for people who see a motorist pass a stopped school bus.Highway Patrol form to report drivers who pass school busesUnder North Carolina law, G.S. 20-217, drivers going either direction must stop when a school bus is stopped to let children off. Drivers are not supposed to continue until the bus has completed dropping the children off and begun to move agai...
  • NC State students develop nail polish to battle date rape

    NC State students develop nail polish to battle date rape

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 5:31 PM EDT2014-08-26 21:31:05 GMT
    Four N.C. State students teamed up to invent a nail polish that changes color when it comes in contact with date-rape drugs.
    Four N.C. State students teamed up to invent a nail polish that changes color when it comes in contact with date-rape drugs.
Powered by WorldNow

1205 Front St., Raleigh
N.C., 27609

Telephone: 919.836.1717
Fax: 919.836.1687
Email: newstips@wncn.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.