The House will come to order. Members please take your seats. Visitors, please retire from the chamber. Members and visitors in the gallery, please silence all cellular phones and personal electronic devices. [PAULSE] The prayer will be offered by Representative Ruth Samuelson. Members and visitors in the gallery, please stand and please remain standing for the pledge of allegiance. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Members, took my own advice from Tuesday and looked around to see if there was another prayer that someone had offered on a July 3rd that I thought would honor us, and found one from Congressional records from 1974. A number of us were alive in 1974. From the Chaplain Reverend Edward Latch, and he offered the following prayer. He began with a passage of scripture from Psalms 33 verse 12. Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord. If you would, please pray with me. Eternal God. Stir thou our minds and stimulate our hearts with a high sense of patriotism, as we approach the Fourth of July. May all that this day symbolizes renew our faith in freedom, our devotion to democracy, and redouble our efforts to keep a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, truly alive in our world. Grant that we may highly resolve on this great day, to dedicate ourselves anew to the task of ushering in an era when good will shall live in the hearts of a free people. Justice shall be the light to guide their feet. And peace shall be the goal of humankind. To the glory of Thy holy name, and the good of our nation and of all mankind, Amen. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Moore is recognized. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Speaker, the journal for Wednesday July 2, 2014 has been examined and found to be correct. I move its approval as read. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Moore moves that the journal for July 2nd be approved as written. All in favor say aye. All opposed no. The ayes have it. The journal is approved as written. Petitions, memorials or papers addressed to the General Assembly of the House, ratifications and resolutions. The clerk will yield, the ratification clerk is not in the chamber at this time. [PAUSE] Ladies and gentlemen. The chair would like to extend a welcome and a thank you to the nurse of the day. The nurse of the day is from Clayton, North Carolina. Rick McGowen. Thank you for your service. [APPLAUSE] Introduction of bills and resolutions. The clerk will read. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Robert Brawley, House Resolution 1274, polling referendum. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Lays and means. [PAUSE] Calendar, House Bill 846. The clerk will read. [SPEAKER CHANGES] House Committee Substitute for Senate Bill 846, bill entitled an act to remove certain described property from the corporate limits of the town of ?? and to clarify the tourism and development authority requirements pertaining to the occupancy tax authorized for the town of Southport. General Assembly of North Carolina enacts. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Moore, please state your purpose. [SPEAKER CHANGES] To debate the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman is recognized to debate the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Members, I don’t represent ?? or Southport, but Representative Iler had to return home. I spoke to him this morning. The storm is already hitting there and had a lot of rain and a lot of heavy wind, so Representative Iler regretted he could not be here, he had to go home. But would just want to remind the body, this I believe passed unanimously yesterday. This is a de-annexation. All the parties are in agreement in their delegation and the occupancy tax is not a tax increase or anything. It is a change to the tax and how some of the money’s spent and that was all by agreement with the delegation and I understand there is no opposition and again I believe it passed unanimously yesterday. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Further discussion, further debate? If not, the question before the House is the passage of the House Committee Substitute to Senate Bill
146 on its third reading. All in favor vote aye, all opposed for no. The clerk will open the vote. The clerk will lock the machine and record the vote. 105 having voted in the affirmative, none in the negative, the House Committee Substitute for Senate Bill 846 has passed its third reading will be returned to the Senate. Senate Bill 874. The clerk will read. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senate Bill 874. The bill's been title an act of removing certain described property from the corporate limits of the town of Spruce Pine. General Assembly of North Carolina enacts. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Dobson, please state your purpose. [SPEAKER CHANGES] To debate the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman is recognized to debate the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I appreciate the good vote on this yesterday. All parties are in agreement, no objections and it was requested by the town. I appreciate your support again today. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Further discussion, further debate. If not, the question before the House is the passage of Senate Bill 874 on its third reading. All in favor vote aye, all opposed no. The clerk will open the vote. The clerk will lock the machine and record the vote. 105 having voted in the affirmative and none in the negative, Senate Bill 874 has passed its third reading and will be ordered enrolled. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Speaker, can I be recorded as voting aye on that please? [SPEAKER CHANGES] The lady will be recorded as having voted aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senate Bill 729, the clerk will read. [SPEAKER CHANGES] House Committee Substitute for Senate Bill 729 the bill entitled an act to prohibit recovery costs related to unlawful discharges from coal combustion residuals surface impoundments. General Assembly of North Carolina enacts. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Ladies and gentlemen, the Chair will allow until 10AM to have amendments sent forward to the clerk for consideration today. Representative Samuelson, please state your purpose. [SPEAKER CHANGES] To debate the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The lady is recognized to debate the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Members, we had a lengthy debate on this yesterday. I want to save my closing comments for after amendments, so if we're ready to begin with the amendments, it's fine. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Floyd, please state your purpose. [SPEAKER CHANGES] To send forth an amendment, Speaker. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative is recognized to send forth and amendment, the clerk will read. [SPEAKER CHANGES] This is amendment ARI-232V2. Representative Floyd moves to amend the bill on page 5, lines 40 - 42, by rewriting the lines to read. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman is recognized to debate the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Speaker, this is an amendment similar to the one yesterday. What haven't we deleted the word and, and inserted the word or and the response agreed to that. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Samuelson, please state your purpose. [SPEAKER CHANGES] To debate the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The lady is recognized to debate the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] He is correct that we discussed changing the word. I actually think this might be good because our universities are starting to deal with Coal Ash, so that does help us broaden the expertise and the ability of people to serve. I urge your support. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Further discussion, further debate on the amendment. If not, the question before the House is the passage of the amendment set forth by Representative Floyd for the House Committee Substitute of Senate Bill 729. All in favor vote aye, all opposed vote no. The clerk will open the vote. All members, please record. The clerk will lock the machine and record the vote. 105 having voted in the affirmative, 1 in the negative. The amendment passes. Representative Collins is recognized to send forth an amendment. The clerk will read. [SPEAKER CHANGES] This is amendment ARI-233V2. Representative Collins moves to amend the bill on page 2 line 50 by rewriting that line to read. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative is recognized to debate the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Speaker. This amendment addresses two problems that I was a little queasy with about this bill. Number one is related to the issue we dealt with yesterday. I agree, and that's why I voted against all these amendments yesterday, that we don't have the technical expertise in this body to choose which plants are most in need of quick repair and which ones aren't. We don't have that technical knowledge. We also, in my opinion, don't have technical knowledge to be setting hard and fast dates for when these things are going to be
cleaned up. As I mentioned yesterday we have no clue what the facts of these deadlines are gonna be we also don't know how fast the permits will be handed out by Deaner?? so folks can actually start doing the work they need to do. So what my amendment would do is start that five, ten, or fifteen year clock running when Deaner?? has actually issued the permits that say that the work can begin to be done. My other issue is that although there is a place in this bill for expedited permitting there is also a place to come back and request for variances. You’re dealing with the same arbiter in every case, you’re dealing with Deaner??. Now I truly believe that our Governor has gotten our agencies on a much more customer friendly base, he’s brought that out that we need to treat people in the state that we regulate, like private industry treats customers and they have become more customer centric but it’s only been a couple of years that I’ve been getting a lot of complaints from clients about Deaner?? and other agencies being very slow to respond, so think about it, if you have a problem because the permits were sitting on somebody’s desk for a long time before they got an answer, and then you have to go back and ask for a variance from the person who created the problem and might not want to be so fast to admit that they are the ones that created the problem. You’ve got the same issue, there is only one arbiter in this thing, so by putting it on the back of Deaner?? to get these permits issued and then the clock can start, I think we’re fixing both issues. We are fixing the fact that we don’t know how long it is going to take to start with, and we’re fixing the issue of the fact that to get these permits approved, and in place and to come back and ask the same group for extensions if you need it kind of takes that off the table too, because they’re the ones that actually start the clock ticking, so I would ask you to support this amendment. [Speaker Changes] What purpose does the gentleman from Henderson Representative McGrady arise? [Speaker Changes] To speak on the amendment. [Speaker Changes] The gentleman is recognize to debate the amendment [Speaker Changes] Representative Collins with this amendment is actually addressing one of the toughest parts of the bill, tough in terms of trying to figure out how we make sure that progress occurs and on a time frame that is doable. I rise to oppose the amendment because I think it is really important in the public sector that we give very specific dates that things need to be done. I think that is what our constituents want. They want to know that something is going to be done by this date, and something then needs to be done by this date, and while I can’t say to you that every one of these dates that is in the bill is perfect, we maybe come back here next year and decide that we need to move one of those dates because it just takes longer or frankly they don’t need that much time, but what I’m hearing from Duke Energy is that our dates are aggressive and from what I’ve heard from some in the environmental community is that our dates might be a little weak, that tells me we are probably in the right place. As Representative Collins mentioned there is a variance position in the bill, and that variance position, again, some people are very nervous about providing a variance, but the variance is there to actually do, in part, what Representative Collins is putting forward here. So, while I appreciate Representative Collins effort in this regard, I think the approach that this amendment would take is wrong, and I think that if we take this approach we’re not likely to get these things cleaned up as the approach that we’re taking. Therefore I urge a no vote on the Collins amendment. [Speaker Changes] For what purpose does the gentleman from Buncombe Representative Moffitt arise? [Speaker Changes] Thank you Mr. Speaker, if the amendment sponsor would yield for a question? [Speaker Changes] Does the gentleman from Nash yield to the gentleman from Buncombe? [Speaker Changes] Most gladly. [Speaker Changes] He yields. [Speaker Changes] Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Representative Collins, I find myself in a position where I actually agree with the amendment sponsor and also with Representative McGrady who
Opposes the amendment. I also zeroed in on the same issue that you did, and I have an amendment that's on the dashboard that essentially takes that issue and puts it in the study portion of the bill itself under Section 13. And my question would be: Would you consider withdrawing your amendment? Allowing my amendment to come to a vote to where we can address the issue simply in a fashion that I think would give us the answers in a way without us as a body making a decision until the actual study takes place? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I would be willing to displace my amendment until I read your amendment and talk to you about it and then see whether your amendment passes or not, if I agree with it. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Could I speak? May I...? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Amendment 23 will be temporarily displaced. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Speaker. [SPEAKER CHANGES] For what purpose does the gentleman from Gaston, Representative Torbett arise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To ask Representative McGrady a question. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Does the gentleman from Henderson yield to gentleman from Gaston? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I yield. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Are you representative, would you consider changes of these kind altering what we did about the amendment about dewatering yesterday? Would it alter those timelines that were specific to the dewatering and to the receipt of the permitting process? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I believe that the dewatering amendment that was offered is consistent with the guidelines we have in place, but it offers the ability to dewater quicker than might otherwise occur under the guidelines we've got here. And I think that was an improvement in the bill because there are a number of coal ash ponds where the major challenge is what got too much water putting pressure on impoundments. One in your district. And so I don't, your question is the amendment we offered yesterday consistent with the deadlines in the bill? I believe that it is. [SPEAKER CHANGES] All right, Mr. Speaker. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Does the gentleman yield to another inquiry? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I yield. [SPEAKER CHANGES] He yields. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Let me ask you the same question in a much abbreviated form. If one, if either this amendment had passed or the study amendment passes, do you feel that it would alter what we did with the dewatering timelines yesterday? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I hate to admit that I don't know how the Collins amendment would affect the dewatering amendment. That's a little more complicated than I can do with respect to the Moffitt amendment which I've just looked at. That would clearly not affect the dewatering amendment that you offered. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Members, at the request of the bill's sponsor, staff will be allowed on the floor to assist in the debate of this bill. Representative Moffitt, is the gentleman ready to proceed with his amendment? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I am, Mr. Speaker. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman is recognized to send forward Amendment 24, the purple ?? [SPEAKER CHANGES] This is Amendment ASB-137. Representative Moffitt ?? amended the bill on page 48, lines 14 through 18, by rewriting the lines to read. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman has the floor to debate the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Speaker. As previously discussed, and as we heard from Representative Collins and Representative McGrady, this essentially takes the issue regarding the timeframes and folds it into the study portion of the bill, and as we have said last evening and also early this morning, this body does not have the scientific expertise to really be making hard and fast decisions regarding these timeframes, and I think it would be very responsible on our part to at least fold it into the study language. Allow the experts who know this side of the industry to provide us the information that we need so we can come back and act responsibly and legislate on this issue in the future. I'd appreciate your support. [SPEAKER CHANGES] For what purpose doe s the gentleman from Henderson, Representative McGrady, arise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To speak a minute. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Gentleman has the floor to debate the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I support the amendment put forward by Representative Moffitt. I would tell you that we're not infallible, and these deadlines, since this is the first put forward in the nation on this subject, I can't tell you that we certainly got it right. That's why we provided the variance procedure. I think the amendment offered here
gets us more information,I'm not big on studies all the time, but this one we could actually use the information put forward by Dinger. And its preferable in my view to the Colin's amendment which I also would point out would change the title of our bill and bring us back here. Which is a bit heartburn for me, I'm hoping to go home and not think of Colash for a few days. But I very much urge you to support the Mafda amendment and hope that representative Collins would support it also. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Speaker [SPEAKER CHANGES] For what purpose does the gentleman from Wake representative Dollar arise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To ask gentleman from Henderson county a question. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Does the gentleman from Henderson yield to the gentleman from Wake. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I yield. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. Just a real quick question, just so I make sure I'm understanding here. The effect of the Mafda amendment is to study these deadlines, but it does not remove deadlines that you have in the bill itself. [SPEAKER CHANGES] That's right. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you [SPEAKER CHANGES] And the importance of that is that one of the deadlines in terms of getting all the information about the ColpaAsh that first deadline is gonna be this year, before we come back next year. And so I think its really important that we start into the process. Mafda amendment allows us to go there. If the study turns out to suggest that these deadlines are wrong, then, will be coming back next year, and will modify those deadlines based on the study, I would suspect, but thank you for the question. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you [SPEAKER CHANGES] What purpose does the gentleman from Mclanburgh representative Jeeter arise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To see if senator McGrady would yield to a quick question. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Does the gentleman from Henderson yield to the gentleman from McLanburgh [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes although I don't know if there's ever a quick question [SPEAKER CHANGES] Man yields. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes from me, my question senator McGrady is, what, how does a variance, does it have any impact on the four sites already identified. Could Duke go back and get variances for the four sites, how do we stand there. I know were talking about variances for a lot of other things, I'm concerned about the four sites that have already been scientifically listed. Are there variances out there that could be imposed to push those back further? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I guess in theory I would say the variance process is available for all sites even those four. But again you gotta go back to the variance language, they're criteria which include public health and public safety and a showing that has to be done before they just get a variance. This is not a matter of them just we need more time were not ready. They've got to set and hit certain things to get there so. And given these sites also as a practical matter given that those four sites were put forward by Duke is the ones they wanted to move forward with. I would suggest we would have a public relations disaster if there was any, any desire to back away from the commitments made to these four sites. [SPEAKER CHANGES] For what purpose does the gentleman from New Hanover representative Catlin arise [SPEAKER CHANGES] To debate the amendment [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman has the floor to debate the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Speaker, I think the amendment is a very good idea. We had a section in the bill that had a study on deadlines, but it did not mention permits. And representative collins brought up a very good point, its headed in the right direction. Just to explain it a little bit the priority sites are gonna have to move to a landfill. There is a section there for expedited permit for everything, but you know how landfills are. The public, the local counties, the local citizens, are gonna be concerned about that. We don't want to rush past them, and run over them with 100,000 trucks. So I think that the likely hood of that permit for that landfill taking longer than we think is gonna be a real problem. So I think its very good to do the study, I think they're both heading in the right direction, I urge your support of the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] What purpose does the gentleman from Cumberland representative Glazier arise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To debate the amendment Mr. Speaker. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Gentleman has the floor to debate the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Speaker, I rise as well in support of the amendment, and I think its a good provision that representative Mafda has come up with and that representative McGrady has said, with a couple of caveats, one
And I think it does get to the issue that Representative Catlin just talked about and that the majority argued a lot yesterday. It is a first, it is all new, and we’re guessing the best that we can. I think that probably the variance and expedited provisions in the bill already did a lot, but to study something to figure it out is a good thing. That having been said, I’m worried about two issues. One, and maybe it’s court background, but I’ve always believed and I was trained by the judge I clerked for that when you set a pretrial order that has deadlines that everyone’s to meet for everything they’re supposed to do, the judge in the end is always in an extraordinary case able to extend those when the judge sees that good cause is there or good faith has been made and we just can’t get there, but to extend anything up the front end sends a very different message. It eviscerates the deadline itself because everyone knows that no matter what then they’re going to get an extension, and I don’t think that’s what this does. I was worried to some degree that that way be what the Collins amendment might have been perceived to do even though it wasn’t intended, and I don’t think that’s what this does, but we have to be wary about making sure that whatever we have in the bill people know is the deadline, and absent you, whoever the entity is, applying in good faith, they’re not going to be able to come a year or two from now and say “Well we’re just not ready,” and so I worry that this is going to take a little bit of work by everybody including DENR. And the second issue I think that exists, and it’s subtle but I’ve been hearing it the last 24 hours on and off the floor, and that is the lobbying that is intensely going on that starts with the proposition “Well you know these deadlines, we can’t meet them. You know we’re not going to be able to meet them. You know we can’t do this,” and we’ve even had some floor speeches, and so while that may end up being exactly right, and if it is, we ought to give the benefit of extending those deadlines to reasonably meet, but I am a little worried that we are beginning the public relations campaign of getting everyone to say “Oh, we really didn’t do… It’s our fault. We didn’t do it right. We really do need to give them two more years.” I think it was a mistake for us to engage in that upfront. As the setter of the deadlines, I think we ought to be strict about it but have provisions, as Representative Moffitt has put in, that say we’re going to look at this. We’re going to look at how you’re doing, the good faith effort, we’re going to look at whether we were right upfront, but nobody should get a signal – and I hope some people in the majority will say what Representative McGrady said. No one should get a signal that just because this is hard, just because this is new, that we’re going to be very sympathetic to moving deadlines without extraordinary cause. With that in mind, I support Representative Moffitt’s amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] For what purpose doe the gentleman from Nash, Representative Collins rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Briefly debate the amendment and then based on my comment ask the amendment sponsor a question, if I might. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman has the floor to debate the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] This is at least heading in the right direction on one of my two issues, in that at least we’re going to study and see whether these deadlines we’ve made can actually be met or not because the person I’ve talked to about this doesn’t work for Duke Energy – it was an engineer that serves here in the General Assembly who thinks these deadlines are impossible, and it wasn’t my seatmate. Sorry to narrow you down like that, but anyway. It doesn’t though address my other problem, and that is we’ve still got the fox guarding the henhouse. The people who can expedite or not expedite the permits and the people who can allow or not allow the variance are now the people carrying out the study to see whether the deadlines are reasonable or not. I would much prefer the Coal Ash Commission to be carrying out the study, and I think they’re the ones that ought to be doing it, so with that, Mr. Speaker, I’d like to ask the amendment sponsor a question. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Does the gentleman from Buncombe yield to the gentleman from Nash? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes I do, Mr. Speaker. [SPEAKER CHANGES] He yields. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Moffitt, I appreciate what you’ve done here. I thought about offering a perfecting amendment and then I didn’t want to drag this thing out too long today, but would you be amenable… I’m sure this thing’s going to go to conference. Would you be amenable to having the Department of Energy and Natural Resources changed to the Coal Ash Commission when this thing goes to conference? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I would. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Brief comment then on the amendment? [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman has the floor to continue his debate. [SPEAKER CHANGES] With that I do support this amendment. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] For what purpose does the gentleman from Henderson, Representative McGrady arise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To speak a second time on the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman has the floor to speak a second time. [SPEAKER CHANGES] First I want to readdress the question put to me by Representative Jeter. He caught me off guard, and I luckily have staff sitting next to me who pointed out that actually, the bill would not allow the variance procedure to be used with respect to
??? option or what about an exceedence? on...you have these waste water discharge on top of the ground and there's an exceedence?. What're you gonna do just stop pumping? Where're you gonna put all that? The Ridgeway decision, in my opinion, is too broad and I very much hoped that I could reach a agreement with Representative Harrison and, in fact, I know I could but then I don't know that if we go through that whole process, we get the support of the body and I do know, for sure, that this doesn't come out of conference and so why put my members and the public through a game where we do something that we know isn't gonna hold up and so that's why Representative Harrison and I didn't reach an agreement on this is I just don't wanna play that charade. I know where this is going, I think it's quite likely, at best a 50/50 chance what will happen in the litigation but I do think that ultimately, we're gonna hafta come back to this issue and I think the responsible thing to do is address it now. It does clearly effect coal ash because the Ridgeway decision is on coal ash. They have compliance guidelines and, while we're fixing the mistake we may have made last time, we're also fixing a problem that we're gonna have to address and we're gonna hafta address very, very soon in one way or the other. I think we're addressing it in the correct manner here and I know others have a different view on that. So I urge you to vote against the Harrison amendment. [Speaker changes.] For what purpose does the lady from Mecklenburg, Representative Samuelson, arise. [Speaker changes.] To speak in opposition to the amendment. [Speaker changes.] Lady has the floor to debate the amendment. [Speaker changes.] I can't really improve on what Representative McGrady said. He explained it perfectly. What I do want to say is how hard he has worked on this. And that we did meet with all sides and had hoped to come to a solution that would address Representative Harrison's concerns. But he is correct that we have documentation that it would not come out of conference and we felt like, and I personally happen to think the way we have it is a good, very good solution. It does address the concerns of the people who are not coal ash operators, but that would be impacted by the language if we didn't touch this so yes, we tried to find a way to address all of the concerns. We were unable to do that but this language does exactly what needs to be done and does exactly what we had intended to have done last year. To make sure that we protect health and safety while, at the same time, allowing our municipalities and our industry to continue to operate. I urge that you oppose the amendment. [Speaker changes.] For what purpose does the gentleman from Buncombe, Representative Ramsey arise. [Speaker changes.] To ask the amendment sponsor a question, Mister Speaker. [Speaker changes.] I yield. [Speaker changes.] Representative Harrison, I agree this is probably to me, the most problematic part of this bill and if we were just talking about ??? and the coal ash from electricity generation in our state, that's one thing but how would you respond...in Buncombe county, there are many old county landfills that were created over the years that were not lined, that are all throughout our community. In some cases, there's ground water contamination that have migrated onto adjoining properties and they've had to get public water or another water source and my fear about this amendment is what we're telling Buncombe county and lots of other potential industries and others is they're gonna hafta go in and remove that source which means completely remove those old landfills and we don't know what the cost and other consequences would be. How would you respond to that concern? [Speaker changes.] Thank you for that question, Representative Ramsey. I'm very sympathetic to that. I'm looking at a Diener?? memo that is dated a couple weeks after the Ridgeway decision that actually indicates that many of those would not be impacted by the Ridgeway decision, particularly the landfills. My preference would be to some kinda "carve out" where
Applied to the coal ash ponds related to electricity generation, and I just don't think we can reach that agreement to come up with language that was suitable. I think that if we gave this the thought and the deliberation that we need, we could probably come up with a plan that everybody could buy into, but it didn't seem like we could last night. I thought we had, and I think that there's no immediacy to deal with this. I think we have time until January to come up with a reasonably thought out compromise, and that's sort of my preference. I hope that answers your question, thanks. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Moore from Cleveland is recognized. [SPEAKER CHANGES] For a motion. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman is recognized for a motion. [SPEAKER CHANGES] To move the previous question. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman from Moore has moved the previous question on the amendment, therefore the House will vote on the motion from the gentleman from Moore to call the previous question. Those favoring the motion will vote aye. Those opposing will vote no. The clerk will open the vote. The clerk will lock the machine and record the vote. Sixty five having voted in the affirmative and 41 in the negative. The motion from the gentleman from Cleveland, Representative Moore has passed, and the question will now be put. The question before the house is amendment 25 sent forth by Representative Harrison. Those favoring the amendment will vote aye. Those opposing will vote no. The clerk will open the vote. The clerk will lock the machine and record the vote. With 41 voting in the affirmative and 67 in the negative, the amendment is not adopted. For what purpose does the gentleman from Cabarrus, Representative Pittman arise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To send forth an amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman is recognized to send forward an amendment. And the clerk will read. [SPEAKER CHANGES] This is amendment ARI-234. Representative Pittman moves to mend the bill on page 36 lines 24 through 38 by rewriting the lines to read. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman has the floor to explain his amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mister Speaker. First of all, I want to say that this handout that is on your desk, I want to disavow the part about the planet warming greenhouse gases. That's not part of my thinking. My main reason for handing this out is to emphasize that if coal ash is out there and is available for use, we need to maximize the use of it. And as part of the intent to maximize the reuse of coal ash, rather than moving and reburying it, this amendment is intended to expedite the process of determining how much coal ash is suitable and available to be reused while still allowing for open competition among companies that might want to be involved and is meant to encourage them to get going on it. We know that maybe some companies are already ready to do this and some, they might be interested, might not quite be ready. This is simply intended to encourage them to go ahead and get started on getting ready and I've spoken to Representatives McGrady, Hager, and Samuelson, and while they're not all excited about this amendment, their opposition did not seem to be all that furious. So hopefully they will not stand too hard against it. But anyway, just a matter of trying to expedite the process and I appreciate your support. [SPEAKER CHANGES] What purpose does the gentleman from Rutherford, Representative Hager arise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mister Speaker. I had a malfunction on that last amendment, I'd like to rerecord his(?) vote as no, but I'd like to say that Johnathan Jordan actually made a mistake. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman will be recorded as having voted no on amendment 25. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman has, for what purpose does the lady from Mecklenburg, Representative Samuelson arise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To speak in mild opposition to the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The lady has the floor to debate the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes. Members, while I understand this kind of competing objectives here, one is gee, we want to get going fast, we want to have all the information we can to move as quickly as possible. On the other hand, for those of us who really want to see new and creative approaches and we really want people to put their heads together and come up with new ways to do beneficial use, I'm concerned that moving this deadline up as much as it is, particularly when it's right after the summer vacation, we're just now passing that it's in, well actually we haven't even finished it yet, but it's July already, that this is too soon. And so while it's not gonna kill the process or kill the bill by changing it, so you can leave it up to your preference, I will say that I will be voting no because
I want to give time for these innovative technologies to hear about what we're doing and to come in and make their pitch. So I would request a no on this amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] For what purpose does the gentleman from Scotland, Representative Pierce, arise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I'd just like to change the vote on the Moffitt Amendment to yes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman from Scotland will be recorded as having voted aye on the Moffitt Amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] For what purpose does the gentleman from Ashe, Representative Jordan, arise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To change my vote on the Harrison Amendment to no, please. I was misled by the sponsor in front of me. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman from Ashe will be recorded as having voted no on Amendment 25. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Members, does anyone else wish to change a vote? If you do please rise now. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Speaker. [SPEAKER CHANGES] For what purpose does the lady rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I'd like to be recorded as no on A-24. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The lady from Orange will be recorded as having voted no on Amendment 24. [SPEAKER CHANGES] For what purpose does the gentleman from Union, Representative Brody, arise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To debate the amendment, please. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman has the floor to debate the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I'd just like, being in the construction industry myself, I'd like to ask you to support the amendment. I know the reasons why you might want to study things but I think, in the long run, there's going to be plenty of coal ash to go around and we might as well start using it as soon as we can with the current technologies and uses available and then there will be plenty left for, and more being produced, for the new technologies to pick up the slack. And I would ask you to support this amendment. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] For what purpose does the gentleman from Guilford, Representative Blust, arise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To see if Representative Pittman will yield for a question on his amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Does the gentleman from Cabarrus yield to the gentleman from Guilford, he yields. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I do a lot of things even though I know I'm in trouble but, yes I will. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Pittman, your amendments worry me sometimes. If I vote against your amendment, as the bill sponsors want me to, am I going to get five hundred emails calling me a sellout? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Pittman, the Chair is going to rule that that question was not germane to the topic. For what purpose does the lady from Wake rise? Representative Avila? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To ask the amendment sponsor a question. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Does the gentleman from Cabarrus yield to the lady from Wake? Representative Pittman, do you yield to Representative Avila? [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman yields, the lady has the floor to ask a question. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Representative Pittman, overall I like the amendment, the only thing I have a little bit of an issue with is the mandate. It says they shall do that. There's not a choice on their part, under the circumstances of everything their doing right now, to make a decision if it's in their best interests to take energy and time to go through this process, which may or may not yield anything. Is there a possibility that we could make it a little bit more flexible? Or do you feel like it has to be shall to accomplish your purpose? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I would not be opposed to considering some more flexibility if it even passes. That would be fine with me. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Does the lady intend to send forward a perfecting amendment? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, sir, I do. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Would the gentleman mind if his amendment was temporarily displaced? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I'd be glad to cooperate. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Amendment 26 will be temporarily displaced. Members, upon motion from the gentleman from Transylvania, Representative Whitmire, the Chair is pleased to extend the courtesies of the gallery to Michael Gage, the Vice Chair of the Polk County Commissioners, and his wife Mary. Welcome to the House of Representatives. Please stand. [APPLAUSE] For what purpose does the lady from Buncombe, Representative Fisher, arise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To send forth an amendment, Mr. Chair. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The lady is recognized to send forward an amendment. The clerk will read. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Amendment ARI-235, Representative Fisher moves to amend the bill on page 5, lines 22-24, by rewriting those lines to read: [SPEAKER CHANGES] The lady has the floor to explain her amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chair. Ladies and gentlemen of the House, I hope that this will be seen as a friendly amendment because what it does is it adds a person who is a resident of a nearby coal ash pond to be a member of the Coal Ash Commission and
While I think that the guidelines for appointing the membership to the commission are good, I do believe we can make them better and more inclusive by adding someone who is actually directly impacted by living nearby. One of the reasons I’m bringing this amendment is because as we all have gotten these emails over the course of this debate over the coal ash bill, I know you all think they look alike, and they do. The ones that I had received towards the end of the debate though did take a step away from the template and ask that we consider adding a resident, and so that’s the reason I bring this amendment today, to add a resident to this commission because who better to speak to the concerns of our constituents than somebody who’s living nearby, and I hope you will vote with me in support of this amendment and support of our constituents. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] For what purpose does the gentleman from Henderson, Representative McGrady arise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To speak on the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman has the floor to debate the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I have mixed feelings about the amendment and I’m not going to make a recommendation on this amendment. First I’d note that the amendment is with respect to appointments by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, and I have a very clear understanding that no matter what we do with these provisions, the President Pro Tempore of the Senate and the Senate will ultimately decide who’s on their appointments, just as we are deciding who our appointees are, so I’m not sure it matters whether we add this one way or the other. The intent of the amendment I’m sympathetic to. The idea that somebody who lives near one of these coal ash ponds that could be impacted, particularly if their water, they’re getting water from a groundwater source or something, makes some sense, but you also think about it, there’s a lot of people that probably the person, Representative Fisher who offers the amendment, would prefer not to see appointed to this slot who just happened to live near a coal ash pond, so the amendment, while well-intended, doesn’t really get us there in my opinion, but go ahead or vote yes or no whatever way you want. I have a suspicion that the Senate will exercise its own prerogatives with respect to its appointments. [SPEAKER CHANGES] For what purpose does the gentleman from Rutherford, Representative Hager arise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To debate the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman has the floor to debate the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Guys, there’s nine positions on this board. We have to make the decision whether we want folks that actually understand the implications to making some of these decisions or not. For instance, do you want an engineer? Do you want a scientist? Do you want a geologist? Do you want someone who understands ash-handling? Do you want someone who understands landfill requirements? We’ve got nine slots. I say we put folks on there that understand what it means and the ramifications of doing this business. This is a monumental task for this commission. We need the right people on there to do the right job. I ask you vote no on the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] for what purpose does the gentleman from Gaston, Representative Bumgardner arise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Speak on the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman has the floor to debate the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I think this is a bad amendment setting a bad precedent. We don’t normally put people on boards that are personally involved in issues. They’re not going to be as objective as they need to be. I think this is a bad idea and I’d ask you to vote no on this amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] For what purpose does the gentleman from Cumberland, Representative Glazier arise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To speak to the amendment please. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman has the floor to debate the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I generally agree with Representative Hager that you want on commissions like this people with expertise, and if you look down the rest of the commission members, that’s fairly well-defined across the board whether it’s with public health or solid waste management or economic development or someone in the industry, all of whom have that expertise, but I think that all that Representative
Rep. Fisher's ammendment is doing is for the one spot that has nothing tied to it by the Senate, and I fully understand the Senate may or may not agree with it. All the Senate wants is right now it should be someone who is appointed as a resident of the state. Well I'm glad that they want to open it to 9.5 million of us but what we'd like, and what I'd think we'd want is that someone who lives near one of these ponds, who feels the effects, who sees the effects, who knows the fear or lack or fear of that area, who understands the history of that kind of circumstance, someone in our state who understands all of the arguments in their community about what's going on, would add an important voice to this panel. We ought not be scared to hear from people who aren't scientists and experts but just happen to live in the areas being economically and environmentally affected. And I think that's all Rep. Fisher is trying to do, and she is not taking away from the expertise of the panel because it's the one position where the only requirement that's on here is that they be a resident of the state. She's simply saying there ought to be a resident of the state somewhere near one of these facilities and that seems to me to be extraordinarily reasonable. We're hearing from all of those people, we ought to continue hearing from those people on this commission. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] For what purpose does the gentleman from Wake, Rep. Morton arise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To debate the ammendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman has the floor to debate the ammendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Speaker. Members, I agree with the gentleman from Rutherford that we do need folks with experience to this. If you, like me, agree with them, this ammendment actually is an improvement and a step in the direction that Rep. Hager proposes by taking instead of a generic North Carolinian and inserting someone who actually might potentially be affected by the decisions done by this board, you are increasing the expertise on that board. But in the end, the reason that I'm going to support this ammendment is because I can't go back to my voters and say that when I was presented with the opportunity to put someone who's in the line of fire of one of these things on the board I voted against it? Absolutely not. I'm supporting this ammendment and would urge you to do the same. [SPEAKER CHANGES] For what purpose does the gentleman from Wake, Rep. Stam arise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Speak on the ammendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman has the floor to debate the ammendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I'm guessing that the Senator from Asheville didn't offer this in the Senate. I'm all for opposing the Senate when they're wrong, but gratuitously poking the Senate in the eye is not a good idea. [SPEAKER CHANGES] For what purpose does the gentleman from Guildford, Rep. Blust arise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To see if Rep. Fisher will yield for a question. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Does the lady yield? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I yield. [SPEAKER CHANGES] She yields. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Rep. Fisher, for purposes of your ammendment is there the term "near" defined anywhere because there could be someone living in a house next door, but it's not in a neighborhood and someone could be living 5 miles away, could that be near? I'm just wondering about the indefinite definition of some of these words. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Rep. Blust. I think that we could all look to the dictionary for an appropriate definition of "neighborhood" and my main goal in this was to open this commission to one of our constituents who lives nearby a coal ash pond. And because they will know from experience what the potential effects of that are or what the effects are already. So I appreciate the support on this ammendment. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] For what purpose does the gentleman from Cumberland, Rep. Lucas arise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To speak on the ammendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman has the floor to debate the ammendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Speaker. I support the ammendment, what I think we're failing to realize folk is that many times local residents can offer a position that we hadn't thought of. I agree that we need expertes but that does not dispel the idea that a local resident may have some expertise that could compliment the mission that we are trying to accomplish. So let's not rule out the local residents and say that they're going to be incompetent. They may actually lend something that we hadn't thought about. At least they have the local folklore and the local expertise that may actually enhance this bill. So let's vote for this ammendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] For what purpose does the gentleman from Moore- excuse me, the gentleman from Cleveland
Rep. Moore arise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To debate the ammendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman has the floor to debate the ammendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Speaker, members, I looked at this ammendment and Rep. Blust sort of hit a point. In all honesty the ammendment just doesn't make sense. If you follow this, you're first off directing - you know as a House ammendment directing that the Senate use one of their appointments to do it, and I think that's number one bad for them, but secondly on top of that it's saying that a neighborhood is not defined, and I would submit to you that neighborhood has many different definitions. And that the language is flawed the way it's drafted, and so how does that work? Rep. Hager and I have one of these in our district, so does that mean that someone in Cleveland or Rutherford county would be better suited just because they live there near the Broad river, to know what's going on in Lee county? it just doesn't make sense. At the end of the day, these appointments need to be good people who are there to do the right thing for all the people. And if your'e talking about ?? and pollution, if you're worried about that, really the folks that are affected are not the people in the neighborhood but the people downstream. The people who're gonna be drinking the water. So I truly don't see the sense in this ammendment at all and I would ask the body to vote against it. [SPEAKER CHANGES] For what purpose does the lady from Mecklenburg, Rep. Cunningham arise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Speaker. I have sat back and I have listened and my concern with this is I have supported the ammendment. I do not profess to be an expert on anything, and I don't think that anyone is an expert on everything. But people that live near these coal ash ponds, and possibly drinking contaminated water, possibly becoming ill, they deserve a spot. They are the experts. Because they're survivors. And I know we all want people to have PhD's behind their names, but the citizens of North Carolina have PhDs behind their names too. Because they've been surviving. They've been living near these coal ash ponds. They were up near the water sources that came off of Dan river that were contaminated. What is one person. One person. And I'm just going to give you a brief analogy: If I have cancer, and I was dying, who would I want to go talk to? A council survivor. Our citizens have been surviving it for years. Why can't we say, "Give them a voice." A voice. It belongs to them just like it do us, it is not a "I". It not a "they". It is not a "them". It is "us". Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] What purpose does the gentleman from Chowan, Rep. Steinberg arise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To speak to the ammendment, Mr. Speaker. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman has the floor to debate the ammendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Ladies and gentleman, I rise to support Rep. Fisher's ammendment, and I'd like to just share a quick story if I can with you. Why. Several years ago, my mother was afflicted with Lou Gehrig's disease, and for those of you who are familiar with that, it's a pretty horrible way to finish up your life. And in tending, trying to tend to my mother's needs, we got to a position where the insurance company said that they were not going to pay any more. That was it. They were done. They were finished. And so I took it upon myself to fly to New York and speak with the insurance company, and I did a little homework before I went in. And I was sitting at this table with all of these insurance executives and they were going to make this decision and was basically giving me the courtesy of saying "no", I expect. And so the first words out of their mouth were "Okay Mr. Steinberg, we just want to let you know from the get go that we're familiar with case number 1275." And my answer to them was "I'm sure you are
Familiar with case 1275, but I’m here to talk about my mother. [Speaker Changes] Mr. Speaker. [Speaker Changes] And… [Speaker Changes] For what purpose does the gentleman from Pender, Representative Millis arise? [Speaker Changes] To very humbly ask Representative Steinburg a question. [Speaker Changes] Yes. [Speaker Changes] Does the gentleman from Chowan yield to the gentleman from Pender, yields? [Speaker Changes] I do. [Speaker Changes] I respect your comments greatly, but I just wanted to ask: in light of the last amendment, is there not a hurricane very near our neighborhood that’s bearing upon us? [Speaker Changes] There is indeed. But there’s a hurricane going on within the chamber right now and we’re trying to take care of that first. [Speaker Changes] The gentleman has the floor to continue his debate. [Speaker Changes] Thank you. And I am in the eye of the storm and I’m still standing here, so thank you, Mr. Speaker. My point being in sharing this story is that… let me give you the ending of the story, after I had pictures of my mother with her G-Tube and all these other… the harnesses she was in—the story became very personal to the people of the insurance company. And all of a sudden, from just being a file number, they knew they were talking about a real person, dealing with a really horrible issue. And when I walked out of the insurance company that day, I not only walked out with a check for a quarter of a million dollars, but they continued paying for my mother's care until her dying day. Now I say this and share this with you, because I feel that having a person who has experienced the coal ash issue, it is affecting thier lives, can bring a real sense of meaning and purpose to the discussion among those professionals who are making professional decisions. This isn't just a professional decision that needs to be made. This is a decision that is affecting humanity, that is affecting individual lives. And sometimes we look beyond the individual and just look at the situation, and I think thereby we miss the greater point. So I would ask each and everyone of you, this is a very, very small concession to make, and I would ask you to please prayerfully consider supporting Representative Fisher's amendment. Thank you. [Speaker Changes] Further discussion for the debate, seeing none. The question before the House is Amendment 27, sent forward by Representative Fisher. Those who favor the amendment will vote aye, those opposing the amendment will vote no. The Clerk will open the vote. The clerk will lock the machine and record the vote with 51 having voted in the affirmative and 59 in the negative. The amendment is not adopted. Members of chair have been advised by Representative Pittman and Representative Avila. There is not going to be a perfected amendment. The Pittman amendment has already been read in. Therefore we will return to debate on that. Are there members seeking the floor to debate the Pittman amendment? Seeing none. All those who favor Amendment 26, sent forward by Representative Pittman will vote aye. Those who oppose will vote no. The Clerk will open the vote. The Clerk will lock the machine and record the vote, with 22 having voted in the affirmative and 86 in the negative. The amendment is not adopted. For the purpose of sending forward an Amendment, Representative Baskerville is recognized. [Speaker Changes] Send forth an amendment. [Speaker Changes] This is amendment ASB136, Representative Baskerville moves to amend the bill on page 33, lines 11 and 12, by inserting between those lines. [Speaker Changes] The gentleman from Vance has the floor to explain his amendment. [Speaker Changes] Thank you Mr. Speaker. This is the amendment that I withdrew yesterday that attaches criminal penalties for knowingly making false representation in the applications reports that are required to be filed under this act. Yesterday we had in a section of the law that...
Was deemed not Jermaine, so we have. I want to thank staff first of all for helping me and turning this amendment around so quickly and also Representative Samuelson for helping get the language tighter. But, so we've got it in the right section. It's Jermaine. Yesterday, it was the Class I felon. We have knocked that down to a Class 2 misdemeanor, and made it a $10,000 fine instead of a $100,000 fine. The reason we did that is so that it would remove the necessity of an incarceration note, and so I urge your support for this amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] What purpose does the lady from Mecklenburg? Representative Samuelson arise. [SPEAKER CHANGES] To speak in support of the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The lady has the floor to debate the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Baskerville is right. We've worked on this. One of the things, you always learn things around here. As we started to find comparables within statute, I'm surprised at some of the penalties that already exists for things that most of us wouldn't think have penalties. So we did look at and try to find comparable. This is making it more comparable to what happens if you perform this same sort of falsification for a water quality permit. And we felt like since so many of these were water quality type issues, I will for full disclosure say this does not exist for landfills, and much of what we are talking about would cover now these type of landfills. But we felt like it was a good balance, and I do urge your support. [SPEAKER CHANGES] For what purpose a gentleman from Cleveland? Representative Moore arise. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Question to the chair. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The general may state his inquiry. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mister Speaker, does the bill jacket indicate whether there is, and this doesn't go to the merits whether this is a good amendment or not, but does the bill jacket indicate whether there is an incarceration note or fiscal note on this? [SPEAKER CHANGES] The chair has been informed by the principal clerk that there is not a incarceration note. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mister Speaker. [SPEAKER CHANGES] For what purposes? Representative Stam from Wake County rise. [SPEAKER CHANGES] To observe that I don't believe in Class 2 you can be incarcerated. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Speaker. [SPEAKER CHANGES] For what purpose a gentleman from Vance arise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] May I answer Representative Stam's inquiry? He did not ask a question? [SPEAKER CHANGES]For what? [SPEAKER CHANGES]I did not raise a point of order. I simply raised a question so as long as no one raises a point of order, the gentleman's amendment can proceed. And I am not raising one, so. [SPEAKER CHANGES] What purpose the gentleman from Henderson Representative McGrady arise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Speak on the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES]Gentleman has the floor to debate the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] My fear last night with the original amendment was that we would make it very difficult for anybody to certify anything that's required in the reporting because you are sitting there with a felony conviction, prosecution potentially, looking at you. I think the work that was done here is what needs to be done. There does need to be a penalty for reporting improper and knowingly do that. But this is a better way to handle it, and I appreciate the amendment sponsor's work on this. And I support the amendment and urge your support. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Further discussion, further debate? See none. The question before the House is the adoption of Amendment 28 sent for by Representative Baskerville. Those favoring the amendment will vote I, those oppose will vote no. The clerk will open the vote. The clerk will now lock the machine and record the vote with 102 voting in the affirmative and 7 in the negative. The amendment is adopted. Members, the chair has been advised that the member from Nash, Representative Collins wishes to withdraw his amendment, and the amendment will be returned to the gentleman. We will now move into debate on the full bill as amended. Further discussion, further debate? See none. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mister Speaker. For what purpose does a gentleman from Durham? Representative Luebke arise. [SPEAKER CHANGES] To speak on the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Gentleman has the floor to debate the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Actually Mister Speaker, members. I wanted to raise this with respect to the Harrison amendment, but I think it speaks to the larger
There's a problem with the bill, which is that when Representative Harrison offered her amendment, the argument against the amendment by the bill sponsors was that, "Folks, the Senate isn't gonna take this anyway." Well, Members, we are the House and we have been, throughout this session and for, I think for time as long as the House has been in existence, making our own decisions and deciding and seeing how those fit in a conference with the Senate. And I find it extraordinary that the amendment would be opposed on the basis that the Senate doesn't like it anyway. How did the Senate like that mini-budget that was passed here a week ago? I think they threw it back at us. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Speaker. [SPEAKER CHANGES] So they really didn't like it and... [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Luebke. For what purpose of is the gentleman from Onslow arise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Are we debating a bill or the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The chair is going to rule that the gentleman was making the point that the amendment would have enhanced the bill. But the chair would ask all those speaking to make their remarks as concise and focused to the bill as they can be. The gentleman from Durham has the floor and may proceed. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Speaker. So members, think about it. That it's really bad policy for us to be making, have made the decision that we did, apparently, against the Harrison amendment because the Senate wouldn't like it. We haven't operated that way, we shouldn't operate that way. I supported the Harrison amendment. I wish you had too. Mostly the process here in the bill, in debating the bill today, troubles me very much and I hope everyone would think about that. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] For what purpose does the gentleman from Wake, Representative Martin, arise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To debate the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman is recognized to debate the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. Members, I'd like to begin by thanking the sponsors of the House Bill, the gentleman from Rutherford, the gentleman from Henderson, and the lady from Mecklenburg. They've taken on what I think is probably the most complex, both politically, scientifically, legislatively, issue that we've dealt with this session and have worked their tales off on it and have come up with a bill that does many good things for the state. And the lady from Mecklenburg, Representative Samuelson and I grew up in the same Southern town, and this is not one of those, "You did a good job, bless your heart!" this is with sincere appreciation for taking on a tough task. But I regret that the bill could have been so much better. And in part I think the bill could have been vastly improved but for the rushed process that it took through the House. Now before I begin on that I'd like to thank Representative McGrady who, in the compact time-frame that we had to get this done, as far as I know, was open to all requests to hear amendments. I know he accommodated mine and several other folks requests also. So in the short time given to him he, without a doubt, was completely open to everything, and I'm grateful for that. But that said, it was rushed through a couple of committees, rushed to the floor, without the time that a complicated bill like this really deserves. Now many of the other issues we've dealt with this session, where some folks in the body think it's a good idea to move forward on it and some folks in the body think its a bad idea, you can see some political parts and some political reasons for rushing it forward. But I think just about everyone in this body believes that we need to take action on coal ash. So if we had taken the time to do it, we could have worked through some of the non-partisan, just some of the scientific, some of the process issues, who's gonna be appointed where, who's gonna be included in what, done a little better look at privatization and that sort of thing, in a a way that would be refreshingly free of partisanship. But that's not what we did. It was rushed through. When we tried to do committee work, essentially, on the house floor, that could have been done in a better committee process, all to frequently the amendments were lied on table or debate was cut off. So even the limited amount of time we had was all too rushed. But in the end, with that limited process, we're pretty much left with an up or down vote on what's before us. And in the end we've got a bill that in my mind does not ??
adequately protect our family's drinking water. A bill that, even with a know clear and present threat to health and property in this state, fails to properly counter that threat. And finally, it's a bill that fails to protect consumers, our customers, for paying for a mess they didn't create. So with great respect and gratitude towards the bill's sponsors, I regret I must vote no and urge you to do the same. [SPEAKER CHANGES] For what purpose does the gentleman Haywood, Representative Queen, arise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To ask a question of Representative McGrady. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Does the gentleman from Henderson yield to the gentleman from Haywood? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I yield. [SPEAKER CHANGES] He yields, the gentleman may ask his inquiry. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The bill before us sort of gets at the point that Representative Hariss' amendment was getting at that we didn't pass, but in regard to the source of pollution being removed or not, this bill, as it addresses Coal Ash, in a high priority site, does require the source to be removed. Am I correct on that? [SPEAKER CHANGES] You're right. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Ok. Does the gentleman wish to debate the bill or propose another inquiry? [SPEAKER CHANGES] So the rest... [SPEAKER CHANGES] Does the gentleman wish to pose another inquiry? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes I do. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Does the gentleman yield. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I yield. [SPEAKER CHANGES] You may proceed. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The provisions just really cover all the other cases that might need some option other than removal across the landfills and other things that may be brought in under that provision. [SPEAKER CHANGES] You have three different priorities. You've got high, medium, and low. High and medium there is no difference in terms of what the remedies might be. It's just a question of what goes first. They're exactly the same. The low priority does expand the options to include the so called cap and place option. But it does not do away with those other options. In fact, that was the purpose of the Murray amendment. Representative Glazier had a similar concern and we made it very clear that low priority sites, likewise, would any of the various options that were out there with respect to high or medium sites were also available with respect to the low priority sites. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. May I speak on the bill? [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman has the floor. Actually, Representative Queen, if you would pause for just a moment. Members, we're going do ratification of bills and resolutions. The clerk will read. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Enrolling clerk posts the following bills to be ratified for presentation to the Governor. Senate Bill 797 AN ACT AMENDING THE DUTIES OF THE 911 BOARD RELATING TO PUBLIC SAFETY ANSWERING POINTS. House Bill 1025 AN ACT TO AUTHORIZE CONTINUANCES OF DIVISION OF MOTOR VEHICLES INSPECTION STATION VIOLATION CASES And the following bills to be ratified prior to enrollment to be presented to the office of the Secretary of State. Senate Bill 851 AN ACT TO ALLOW FIRST CRAVEN SANITARY DISTRICT TO PROVIDE FOR ABSENTEE VOTING IN THE SAME MANNER AS A MUNICIPALITY Senate Bill 875 AN ACT TO STAGGER THE TERMS OF THE MEMBERS OF THE TOWN COUNCIL OF THE TOWN OF BAKERSVILLE. The following bill, the filing clerk reports the following bill due to be ratified prior to enrollment and presented to the Secretary of State Senate Bill 874 AN ACT REMOVING CERTAIN DESCRIBED PROPERTY FROM THE CORPORATE LIMITS OF THE TOWN OF SPRUCE PINE. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Queen, we'll come back to you in just a moment. For what purpose does the gentleman from Cleveland. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Motion pertaining to today's calendar. Actually, a motion to re-refer a bill in concerning to today's calendar. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman may state his motion. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I move that House Bill 366, short titles the North Carolina Farm Act of 2014, be removed from the committee on Agriculture and calendared for today. It's going to be a motion not to concur and the thought is, it'll be taken up after this bill, but this will give members who are interested a chance to look at it on the dashboard if they're so interested. But I would move that it would be removed from that Committee and calendar for today. [SPEAKER CHANGES] You've heard the motion from the gentleman from Cleveland. If without objection, so ordered. Members are going to return to discussion on Senate Bill 729. Representative Queen. You have the floor to debate the bill, sir. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you.
I want to extend my appreciation to all the folks that have worked on this bill because I think this is really one of the stronger efforts that we’ve put forward in the House this year. I don’t think it’s a perfect bill. I think the largest missing point is the responsibility for the cost. I think our citizens, our constituents, our voters really want to make this clear that this is an issue that the corporation who has created these issues over the years and knowing all along – we’ve known for a long time that these situations were going to come to roost, they were going to haunt us. Quite frankly, the spill is the Danville River has provoked us to move forward in a way that we probably wouldn’t have without that catastrophe, so sometimes there’s a silver lining on these things. So I do thank the members for making a solid effort, and I know the process is not done when we get through today. I think we need to keep our eye on who is responsible as we study these things and learn more about them because I think that’s a genuine issue of justice in our state. So with that, I’m continuing to study to whether to support this now or to wait to see what kind of conference report we have, but I do think the effort has been solid on the members and I thank each and every one of you for doing it. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] for what purpose does the gentleman from Rutherford, Representative Hager arise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Debate the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman has the floor to debate the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I think the world of Representative Martin, he and I share a love of automobiles, but I have to say just a couple of things just to quote him as what he’s said in the past few days. He said yesterday “You broke it, you pay for it.” He said today “It could have been.” He said today “Taken the time to do it right, we should have. We rushed this through. It doesn’t adequately protect the public.” Let me give you a little history lesson, General Assembly. I’ve only been here going on four years. Around 1985, Belews Creek Station had an issue where they had a selenium issue in the lake because of the structure of the lake. At that time, DENR’s response was “Well, move your outtake from the lake and put it in the Dan River.” Could have fixed it then. Let’s move to 2006. 2006, this General Assembly created a moratorium on landfill permitting. They exempted coal ash ponds. 2007, the NCGA tightened solid waste statutes. They exempted coal ash ponds again. We can move forward to 2008, 2009. Of the five bills after the Kingston accident – Kingston, Tennessee – of the five bills put in this General Assembly in 2009, one called for a moratorium on new power plants. Four created new permitting requirements. All five failed in committee. And the Duke’s permit for deposition removal of residual solids that was issued in 1994, renewed in 2009, was renewed without any modifications to the permit. You’re right, Representative Martin. We could have done something about it; we chose not to then. This GA has a decision after 80 years; we have coal ash ponds in this state for almost 80 years. River Bend Station in Representative Torbett’s district was built in the ‘20s. Cliffside Station in my district was built in ’38 and ’39, ’45 and ’46 on the other units. We have 106 million tons of coal ash in this state. We could have handled it but we chose to do it now. This General Assembly after 80 years of coal ash issues, after one incident in North Carolina and another, the largest incident of coal ash, in Kingston, Tennessee, after that we’ve decided to do something about this. After many unsuccessful attempts of us, General Assembly, we’ll be the first in the nation. I think Representative Samuelson said this several times. We are charting new seas, guys. We are on the forefront of this, and I’m proud of this General Assembly and I’m proud of the sponsors of this bill. I’m proud of the work that Representative McGrady has done, Representative Catlin and Representative Samuelson. This bill will protect our citizens and our state’s waters. Is this the final version of what we’re going to do? No. This is the first step in our process of what we’re going to do. So at the end of the day guys, you’ve got to make a decision.
Decision, everyone gets to push the red or the green button. You’ve got a decision. Do you want to do what other general assemblies have refused to do? What has been happening since the early 90s all the way up until today. The signals have been there. General Assemblies in the past have refused to do anything about this. We’re going to do something about this. This General Assembly will do something about this. You have to decide whether you’re going to be part of it or you’re not going to be part of it. You have to decide do you want to create a process to ensure protection of our waters because that’s what we’re embarking upon. And last certainly not least, you have to decide if you’re going to create a process to ensure the health of our economy. Low and valued prices are important to our economy. How do we balance those two? This bill does that. So at the end of the day you have to decide if you’re going to push that button yes or no. At the end of the day you’ve got to decide if you’re going to be part of what other General Assemblies have refused to be a part of, of moving this forward and being the first in the nation. I implore you and beg you to vote yes on this bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] For what purpose does the gentleman for Durham, Representative Michaux rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To speak on the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman has the floor to debate the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Speaker and ladies and gentlemen of the House. I do want to congratulate and echo the congratulations to those folks who have put this bill together. It is a step moving forward. But I guess my problem is that, and let me back up a minute. Duke Power Company has made significant contributions to this state, there’s no question about that. And we have helped Duke Power made those contributions to the state. But the one problem that bothers me about this bill is the one as to who’s really going to pay for this cleaning up. If we had had, if we had just adopted one of those amendments that said that this would not be passed on to the rate payers, it would make in my estimation this bill much stronger and much more palatable throughout the community. I look back and look at the, I was just reminded, look at the BP spill in the Gulf. And BP decided to take that charge among themselves. They did not, maybe a little raise in gas every now and then, I don’t think you can put that all on BP. But they came out in front and said we’re going to do this and we’re going to pay for it and we’re going to clean it up. And I think Duke, we’ve been good folks to Duke. Duke is a good corporate citizen and I think it’s part of good corporate citizenship that those folks that Duke supplies that energy to really should not be even thought of as to having to make any contribution, one step to cleaning this up. I would vote for the bill if we could assure that that situation wouldn’t exist. At right now, maybe when it comes back, maybe I’ll be able to vote for it, but I just can’t do it at this juncture. I think about all those people who have struggled. Who struggle to pay their electric bill right now. Who know that, and Duke knows that electricity is a necessity. You can’t get by without it. You can’t do anything without it. And it’s sort of like a monopoly. You get it, and you can’t do without it. Let’s just make sure that whatever happens in cleaning up this coal ash situation, that the rate, that it is not put on the back of the rate payers. Once that’s done, and I can happily support what this bill states. [SPEAKER CHANGES] For what purpose does the gentleman from Nash, Representative Collins rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To debate the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman has the floor to debate the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] As usual when it comes to topics like this, we heard a lot of rhetoric yesterday. We’ve heard some of it repeated today and we’ll probably hear some more. The one thing we keep hearing is that we need to try to get at all these evil shareholders from Duke and make sure they pay for everything. I don’t think Duke has baulked at paying for the cleanup for the one spill that has happened, but we need to differentiate between that and us changing the rules on Duke after 80 years of letting them do it one way and saying we’re changing the rules on you and oh by the way you’re going to have to pay all the expenses on these rule changes we’re doing. That’s a completely different issue. Who are these, I don’t know if the purpose of the rhetoric here is to do what’s been done a lot of times in the last 20 years, and drive a good corporate client of ours across the border into South Carolina, or some other state that would love to have them. We’ve heard the company railed at a lot. We’ve heard their profits railed at. It was mentioned yesterday by someone that they’re providing 14,000 jobs for the citizens of North Carolina. That’s not 14,000 job years or job months or job weeks or job hours or this other gobblede
we come up with to cover the fact that some people don't create real and lasting jobs. These are real and lasting jobs. At all level of the pay scale. From highly educated engineers to people doing office work. I take that seriously. I'd love to have 14,000 jobs added to my rural area. That would be a great thing, so I don't know if we're trying to punish a company that's providing a great benefit to North Carolina or not, hiring 14,000 of our citizens - they've been good to North Carolina for a long time. Or maybe we're trying to punish the shareholders. I've heard that a lot. Make sure the shareholders pay for - Who are Duke's shareholders? Well you and I are. The teachers of this state and the other state employees are. Our state pension has $136 million invested in Duke Energy stock and bonds. So congratulations for those of you who heat up the rhetoric, and Duke's stock's gone down from $73.80 to $71.03 this week while we've been talking about it. It's about a 3.5%-4% loss, congratulations. You've managed to drive probably $50 million out of our pension fund this week. So you know, let's make life harder for those evil Duke shareholders, those teachers and state employees that we're so concerned about having money in their pension fund. I'd like to thank on an unqualified basis, Representatives McGrady, Samuelson, Hager, Catlin, for the work they've done, and now that we've made some improvements on the House forum, the only reason I offered my ammendment on the House forum is because I'm not on the environment committee. I'm not knocking the process at all, I think we've had open debate probably in the committee they've had, we've certainly had it here on the floor, we've had an opportunity to try to tweak the bill and make it a bit better but I'd like to thank these folks for doing a great job in a difficulat situation, we're in uncharted waters and don't have a clue what we're doing, and as far as the rhetoric goes I wish we can learn to tame that down, and not shoot ourselves in the foot and talk against our own folks like our teachers and state employees. And I commend this bill with no reservations. [SPEAKER CHANGES] For what purpose does the gentleman from Henderson, Rep. McGrady arise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To speak on the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman has the floor to debate the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I suspect that everybody has made up their minds on this bill with the possible exception of Rep. Queen who's still listening. As most people know, I've been at the environmental protection effort for a good 30 years, and so I know the environmental community pretty well. No one ever expected we'd be here debating the coal ash bill this year. Six months ago, no one expected to be talking about coal ash. Duke certainly didn't want to be talking about coal ash. And we would have put it - nobody would have guessed that we would be here. But something happened and it changed that. And we responded to it. And we're responding to it in a good fashion. It's reminiscent for those who've been in the chamber a long time of how the general assembly had to deal with the hog lagoon issue. That was not an issue that was before the General Assembly, and suddently it was, and they had to move quickly. They perhaps didn't do everything perfectly right, but it's a very similar situation. I would say to you I think this is a good bill. It's a good bill for two reasons: It's a good bill for what came over from the Senate, it's a good bill for what we added. The Senate bill allows the creation of no more coal ash ponds. It closed the operating coal ash ponds, meaning we're not putting any more ash with water into ponds. It prioritizes the coal ash ponds, both as to their risk and to when we're going to start the cleanup of those sites. The bill delays the decision on cost. And in the law, again I'm not that good a lawyer, but this is idea of things being right for a decision. And the reason the cost decision has been put off is primarily it is not right for a decision yet. There's a lot of things that we need to get done and this bill is doing and we need to get back to the cost issue perhaps, but I would suggest that this is a good decision. There are incentives in the bill for finding ways to put coal ash to beneficial use. We don't have enough landfills in the state to address this issue. We've got to figure out ways to do something with it. And there are incentives here. We don't have answers yet. And finally it strengthens the reporting and notification requirements that we know were not strong enough. And that's in this bill, and it's a really positive thing. And so
What did the House add to this? Well it added a lot, and I’d again point to some things that I’m really very happy with. We required that an impoundment owner, in this case Duke, provide portable water – drinking water – within 24 hours of a determination. That’s a major shift in policy that we’re providing with respect to these ponds. We decreased the trigger point for the enhanced requirements for large structural fill projects. This was the subject of the Luebke amendment, but again, please note that we have begun to move them back, and I don’t know if we got the number right but if I find out we didn’t, I’m going to be back here next year. Representative Murry had an amendment clarifying the options on low priority sites, a really important thing. He went to the heart of what the bill is about, and likewise, Representative Martin and I know Representative Glazier worked on the amendment related to emergency action plans for dams. That is a really good amendment. I didn’t think about it, but it came forward and it strengthened the bill, and so what I’ve seen here I think is we’ve got a pretty good bill from the Senate and I think we’ve made some improvements, and then I would tell you that there’s still work to be done. This is a moving target, and let me give you a great example because it hurt yesterday. We were in the midst of debating this bill, and all of a sudden I hear from DENR new comments suggesting that it wouldn’t allow cap in place at any site that sits below the water table. Well unless I’m losing it, that is not what they told me a short period of time ago, and I would make a commitment to my colleagues that these type issues, there’s a lot in dispute between us and the Senate, and we’re going to dealing with changes of positions, in fact, right up until we finish our conference, and my commitment to you is to continue to respond to these issues. We debated at some length the compliance boundary issue. This one’s a really painful one for me because I wanted to fix it, and I thought I was just going to be fixing what we did last year, and then all of a sudden we got this other decision, and I think we need to fix that too because of its breadth, and my commitment again is the same. I – [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Speaker? [SPEAKER CHANGES] For what purpose does the gentleman from Durham arise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Speaker. A little hard for us to hear the comments of Representative McGrady. We’d like to hear his comments on the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman’s point is well-taken. If the members will please come to order and give due respect to the gentleman who is debating the bill. Please proceed. [SPEAKER CHANGES] My commitment again is the same. If we can find a way to get somewhere in the middle on compliance boundary, I’m willing to go there, but I would tell the members I really think it’s a mistake to just sort of carve out a coal ash compliance boundary and not deal with the bigger set of issues here, and we may not be able to go there. Listening to the debate yesterday, it was disquieting for me, and it was disquieting because I wasn’t sure we were debating the right issues. We spent a massive amount of time trying to put one site or the other into high priority site, and I understand why any one member would do that, but that’s not the heart – that’s not really what is critical here. We need to make sure what the critical standards and criteria are for judging these sites, how they get prioritized and what gets done once they’re priorities, and not any or not many of the debate revolved around that big issue. I mentioned the cost issue. Besides it not being ripe for decision right now, the amendment that was offered yesterday doesn’t really address reality. We’re sitting here right now; we may well be getting our energy from a coal-fired power plant which is generating ash. It is a byproduct on the ongoing production of electricity, and that cost ought to be borne by those of us who are using the energy. We were in the amendment that was offered
And in the suggestions that have been made up to now, we were sort of using a sledgehammer on the cost thing when we needed to use a scalpel. And that is why I didn’t think we could, in the short session, deal with the cost issue. It’s not that it isn't an appropriate thing for us to deal with, and it’s an issue that scares Duke Energy, I’m sure. But we’re not capable of dealing with that in the right way. And I think if we all got together we would recognize that there are some set of costs that ought to be borne by Duke because of mistakes that they made. And yet there are some set of costs that are simple related to the change in what we did over a period of time, way back when we used to put coal ash in rivers. I guess it started killing fish and they decided, “Well, we better not do that.” The best thing to do at that point in time was to put them in these coal ash ponds and pits. That obviously isn’t the right solution anymore. Perhaps Duke was unwise in not moving to that quicker, but to say that all the cost related to all the coal ash needs to be borne by Duke shareholders—I don’t believe that’s true at all. So I wish this had been handled in the long session. I view it though as a good first step. I hope you don’t forget what you learned on coal ash, because I fully expect to be back here in the long session working on the next steps. At that point, some arrange of these reports will begin to go in. Some part of the prioritization process will move forward. And if we made mistakes, my commitment to those who may end up voting against this bill is I’m going to continue to work to get the right answer here. I think we’ve got a good coal ash bill. I urge you to support it. [Speaker Changes] For what purpose does the lady from Guilford, Representative Harrison arise? [Speaker Changes] To briefly debate the bill. [Speaker Changes] The lady has the floor to debate the bill. [Speaker Changes] Thank you Mr. Speaker, the Ladies and Gentlemen of the House, I've got mixed feelings about this bill. I really wanted to support it. I did want to respond to Representative Hager's point though, I do believe that I probably sponsored most, if not all of those bills that he mentioned starting in 2009 after the Kingston Spill when we realized that North Carolina did have inadequate protection on Coal Ash. I think that there wasn't a lack of will of this body to hear those bills, I think it was mostly a reflection of the influence of the energy industry. And I don't say that to demonize them, they're just doing their job representing the interest of their shareholders. I'm not sure that's consistent with the public interest and I think that therein lies the problem. So I think that this bill is a start, but I think that there is more we could do. I can't really articulate it any better than Representative Martin about my concerns, except to add that the compliance piece is a real problem for me because I think that we're undoing a judges decision that is pretty far reaching, and granted we need to deal with it, but I don't think that we need to deal with it in this fashion. And I'm going to accept Representative McGrady's pledge to work on that in the conference. And hopefully he can fix that and bring back a bill that I can vote for because I sure would like to vote for a good coal ash bill. I do want to echo my thanks to Representatives Samuelson and Hager and Catlin and McGrady for their outstanding work on this. But I'm unfortunately still going to be a no vote, but I am hoping to vote yes when we get a conference report back. Thanks. [Speaker Changes] For what purpose does the gentleman from Wake, Representative Martin arise? [Speaker Changes] To speak a second time on the bill. [Speaker Changes] The gentleman has the floor to speak a second time. [Speaker Changes] Thank you very much Mr. Speaker. And I want to address my colleague, a gentleman from Rutherford, and agree with him not just on the fact that we both like ridiculously overpowered automobiles, but that I actually agree with the bulk of what he said. He was critical, I think, of past general assemblies, because of their failure to address this problem. In that regard, he is absolutely correct. All too often political bodies do not address problems until there is a horror story. And let's don't fool ourselves, that's really the only reason we are sitting here, is because there is a coal ash horror story. I have sponsored or co sponsored bills in the past that Representative Harrison has introduced to address coal ash under the democratic general assembly that didn't go anywhere. She introduced a bill under Republican general assembly that would have addressed it also, that didn't go anywhere. I find that in the ability to willfully bury our heads in the sand, and ignore threats to our safety, Democrats and Republicans...
bear equal guilt in that regard. So let this, and Mr. Speaker I'm going, I think I'm still on topic here but I'll count on you to shepherd me back on topic if I veer off. In the end, let's let this be a cautionary tale for us. North Carolina's General Assembly did ignore coal ash, like the gentleman from Rutherford said, for all too long. So the next time when someone like Representative Harrison introduces a bill that we think is crazy, that could never happen in North Carolina, maybe we ought to pay a little more attention. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Members, please note the following two announcements. The only member seeking recognition remaining on this bill is gentlemen from Mecklenburg, Representative Tillis. It is the speakers intention, it is the Chair's intention, to put the question to the body when the gentleman from Mecklenburg concludes his remarks. Therefore, if any other member wishes to speak, the Chair would encourage you to seek recognition. Secondly, on behalf of all the members of the House, the Chair is pleased to extend the courtesy of the gallery to Southeast Halifax High School. If you would wave and please accept our welcome. [APPLAUSE] We will return to debate on the bill. For what purpose does the gentleman from Durham, Representative Hall, arise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To debate the bill before the Speaker debates the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman has the floor to debate the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and ladies and gentlemen, I think a lot has been said, I don't know if this was a come to Jesus moment for us here in the General Assembly regarding coal ash, a lot of acknowledgements of shortcoming on a lot of people's part. Great work has been done and I do congratulate everyone who has worked on it over these many years. Representative Harrison, for trying to lead us out of the wilderness, and for folks who worked on the bill this session who finally got us at least hitting in the right direction. We seem to have had a lot of conversions in this bill. People that were once science deniers are now in favor of letting science work. And people who once did not have great appreciation for the environment now understand and appreciate the need to guard our environment. There is still one thing we didn't address and we acknowledge it and I appreciate Representative McGrady and why I wanted to hear what he had to say because he's worked on the bill so hard and the issue so hard about whether or not we should address the cost related to this bill. And we don't have a study in the bill related to cost. We don't have a mechanism in the bill to ensure fair treatment on the cost for the rate payers and the one thing I've always said regarding this bill is that the rate payers really should not be penalized further in this bill. That's the big elephant in the room. We didn't deal with that. Showed a lot of talent, ability, grace, understanding, conversion, but we left this one big item un-addressed and it is an item that we need to address. Now, utility companies in North Carolina basically have a monopoly, as we've said, special trust and confidence we give them and they earn it everyday, to some extent. But with that special trust and confidence comes exceedingly high levels of responsibility And when it comes time to step to the plate and assume that responsibility you have to step up and they've done that in many instances across the state. We talked about how great Public Citizens, Progress Energy, and Duke now combined, have been. But let's look at what has happened, as well, on the responsibility side. They've had the responsibilities to generate power for the needs of the state and the growing business interests and in exchange for that they've been able to get rates that have allowed them to have an extremely profitable business. And that goes along with the position of preeminence they have in the industry. But at the same time, they made decisions about how they would take those profits and use them.
…and on this one issue, we need to make sure our citizens have some representation. You see, they relied on us to set the rate. They relied on the utility companies to generate the power in a safe manner and guard against these known, resulting dangers. Specifically, in this instance, coal ash. And so they, citizens, relied on us and we relied on Duke… [SPEAKER CHANGES]: Mr. Speaker [SPEAKER CHANGES]: For what purpose is lady from Mecklenburg rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES]: May I ask a question of the Minority Leader? [SPEAKER CHANGES]: Does gentleman from ?? yield? [SPEAKER CHANGES]: As the Democrate leader, I'd certainly yield at the close of my comments. [SPEAKER CHANGES]: He does not yield. The gentleman has the floor to continue debating the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES]: Thank you Mr. Speaker. And so, … the decisions were made by leadership to give bonuses to the executives who were in charge of these organizations while this coal ash was being generated and was known to be a problem. And yes, maybe we should have looked over their shoulders more, to make sure that those corporate boards and the CEOs paid more attention to this known danger. And we failed on that. No question. The citizens didn’t fail though. They paid their bills, they paid the bills as they came due. So, maybe that was a failure of the legislature. Certainly a failure of the corporate boards and the CEOs. And these same corporate boards, of course, gave bonuses to these CEOs on the premise that they had done a great job. And so, the elephant in the room continued to sit there, year after year, board meeting after board meeting, CEO bonus after CEO bonus, dividend declaration after dividend declaration. It did happen and so it's very similar to what happened here in this legislature is Representative Hager talked about, about knowledge of the problem, but failure to act on it. And so this question still is here. Should we be turning over this responsibility now to make this decision to a bureaucracy? Should we be silent on it in this bill that makes so much progress, or should we make a decision now to say we will not pass these expenses on to the rate payers who already paid that fair rate that generated sufficient money for those profits and those bonuses during that period of time? I would say no. I would say we should tell the public you paid your share. The business models are there to allow this to be paid by those who profited in the past and we should ask them to create those models and abide by them. And we don’t address that in this bill. I took special heed to what Representative McGrady said regarding one of Representative Harrison’s amendments and as well as Representative Luebke who made reference to it about the idea that we won’t try because it won’t be totally accepted. Well, this bill is going to conference, so everything in it is not going to be totally accepted. So, we pick and choose when we want to use that out, or that excuse and I would say on this issue of cost, we should not have taken the out, we should have taken the responsible road and made the determination ourselves to protect the interest of the people going forward. Utilities are a complicated thing. You know, that question about whether or not we pay in advance for utilities when they are going to construct new plants and we had that discussion about who pays for that. Do we pass that on to rate payers and we want them to pay for that? And in the past, we’ve been supportive, yes. Not on every issue, for the utilities in this state, but when they needed to in-place, demolish existing facilities, and not have additional cost to remove the debris, we tried to work with them and make that possible, again, to allow them to have the profit margin they needed in their business formula that they use. So we are partners, but on this issue of whether rate payers should pay twice, it's still my position and the position I’m sure of most consumers in North Carolina, that they should not be billed twice, they should not have to pay twice, they paid their fair share in the formulas that we’ve had and going forward, there should be some adjustment on the part of Duke Power or whatever utilities that we have. No one disputes the value of Duke Power being in this state or utility companies being in this state. Vote both to the business...
population in this state and the value to the utility companies to be here. They're not running a loss, they've made a decent profit, I don't think we have to worry about them packing up and leaving this state and leaving all these rate payers who've been continuing to pay, I think they'll continue to allow those rate payers to make their monthly payments, I think they'll allow those business to still make those payments, and so I don't think we have to really worry about that. I don't think we have to create that false choice. But we do need to do the responsible thing and somehow address and give some confidence to our citizens that they won't have to pay twice when other people got the dividends and the bonuses and had the responsibility to assure against this risk and did not do it. And yes I agree wit Rep. Hager. Either we should have made this decision earlier and insured against this risk, or the utility companies should have done it. But the people should not be victimized a second time. And so I would hope when this bill comes back from conference, a study, some way of addressing these issues of who is going to bear the responsibility for these cleanups. And it has to come, it has to be done. It's an uncomfortable discussion, but we have to start on that road as well. So again, I think that everybody who worked on the bill, I regret that this one issue was not fully addressed, a study was not put in place that would handle it, I disagree with the idea that it's not right for discussion or starting on the road to a solution. It is right for us to take those steps now, I hope it comes back from conference with some reference to it and I would hope that our members on the conference committee take that opportunity to have that discussion. We may find that we do have some willing partners on the Senate to at least start on that road. [SPEAKER CHANGES] For what purpose does the lady from Mecklenburg, Rep. Samuelson arise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To debate the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The lady has the floor to debate the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I was going to ask the minority leader a question, but it would be somewhat rhetorical so I'll just make the point. I remember when I came here years ago and we began to discuss all kinds of energy issues and on our usually appointments at some point would be appointments to the utilities commission. And when I would ask people what does the utilitites commission do, I was told they decide rate cases because it is so complicated and so involved and there's so many factors in it that we believe a set of professionals need to be deciding the case on who gets paid. Well then the question would come up, Well but who speaks for the public? If we are appointing the utilities commision, then who speaks for the public? Well they would talk to me about the public staff. And there is a public staff whose sole job is to speak for the rate payers. They're educated about all those factors. They are trained on how to do this, and having talked to them before they are very vehement about protecting the rights and the obligations of the rate payers. So given that, we have a public staff that is going to address all the concerns that our minority leader brought up and they are good concerns, as in how are things going to be paid for? That's what the public staff does and they do it very will. And on the other hand they work with the utilities commission staff who knows all the ins and outs as well and when you put those two together, I think that's a far better group of people to be making the decisions about rate then we should be here in the middle of what those who oppose it say is already going too fast. So if you believe all that, let's leave those kinds of decisions to the professionals and in the meantime, to give everybody time to evaluate this. We put a moratorium in this bill. So during this time while everybody's catching their breath, they're doing the assessments. They're working through the prioritizations. They're coming up with plans. Then at the end of the moratorium, all of this can be debated again if need be. But since I won't be here, I'll make the case now that the utilities commission and the public staff are a great place to start. We have not ignored the rate payers in this bill. We have honored them in the best way we can. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Members subject to the announcement the chair made earlier of his intent to put the question, are there further speakers wishing to be recognized? Seeing none, the gentleman from Mecklenburg , Rep. Tillis, is recognized to debate the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Speaker. Ladies and gentlemen of the House, I hope you really will rethink- those of you who voted against it yesterday, I hope you'll really rethink your decision today. I think it's particularly
Important to think about what's going on in our coast right now. Millions of gallons of water being dumped on the state. Actually, a coal ash pond Representative Stone cares a lot about may be actually being exposed to more risk today. I don't know why you voted against it, but I think I may have a little bit of a clue, and it goes back to votes that all of the last five people who spoke against this bill made in 2006 when the landfill moratorium was up for a vote. A moratorium that even, I think, one the most ardent supporters of environmentalism, Representative Harrison, voted for. It was a moratorium that had an exemption on coal ash ponds to continue to be able to put coal ash including the Dan River pond, an unlined pond, expressly exempted from the bill. Now, I know that Representative Harrison is someone who is one of the greatest defenders of the environment, and I know that she probably had a problem with that provision. But she voted for that bill because of the concern that she had with the environmental impact on ground water and the environmental impact on landfills in our state. She accepted that risk, it's a risk that got realized, but it was done because the bulk of the bill was a good bill, and it was environmentally sound. That's at least, I'm not getting inside her head or speaking for her, but my guess is that's why she voted for it. That's why six of the last people who spoke voted for it. And they voted for an exemption for coal ash ponds that continued to be filled up from 2006 until today. One of them now has suffered a catastrophe. But they did it because of the greater good being served by the bill. And incidentally, as I recall because I was here for that bill, I think that there was a discussion about the cost that was going to go on to the payers of trash collection to actually, you have to put the trash somewhere, right? And there was going to be adduct transportation costs and a number of other things but that was okay. And it was okay for the people who pay for their trash collection to pay a little bit more, and now we're having kind of a different discussion. You know, this, and there are other people, some of the newer members who weren't here for that vote, who I suspect are voting against it because their amendment did not pass yesterday, to potentially move their pond up in the order. I was talking with one of the members that voted against it yesterday, and I told him I could not, in good conscience, support that. Because there's an amazing thing that happens in this chamber from time to time. On Tuesday, someone gets elected. On Wednesday, they become an expert in something they know nothing about. And so suddenly, they know that their project in their district is the most important thing. Well, what if those bills passed? What if they somehow got moved up in the order? But the data actually led us to another one that somehow got moved down in the order, and that dam breaches. I couldn't let my conscience sit very well having made that decision. I want the science to drive the priority and I want all these coal ash ponds to be remediated. But I want it to be done based on science and engineering, something very few of us in this chamber have any experience whatsoever. I also want to go back, because there was a comment made that I find a little bit offensive, but I don't take things personally here. Is that for someone to say that it's good to see that we're finally are beginning to become concerned with the environment. Seriously? The primary sponsor, one of the lead sponsors on this bill, Chuck McGrady has been a member of the National Sierra Club for thirty years. His reputation was so strong that he was elected president of the National Sierra Club in the nineties. Seriously? Does anybody here want to match his resume about expertise with the environment and caring for the environment more than Chuck McGrady? I'll bet money on Chuck McGrady. Ruth Samuelson, the same thing. She is an ardent supporter of the environment. She's got a long resume. She knows that this is critically important, and you all should know that this is unlike anything that's been done in any other state. You have an opportunity to vote for something that's truly historic. Or you have an opportunity to record a vote, that if you had your way, would continue to have this environmental risk, one of the greatest environmental risks in the history of this legislature that we can begin to work on, and you say no. Because of cost issue, or prioritization of a certain coal ash pond, or something else is just too much to give up to get to work to solving this problem. I just don't get that. I go back to that thought process back in 2006 that said yeah, I'm going to exempt coal ash ponds but I know the greater good that's going to be done for solving the solid waste problem. And I hope that you go back and think, you know, that's kind of logical today.
I don't like a few of these things but we come back every year and we can fight on the cost issue and other things next year if we get more data, but get this process going and be on the side of actually stepping up and solving this problem and leading the nation in the process. I hope you'll vote for the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Members, the question before the House is the passage of House Committee Substitute for Senate Bill 729 as amended on it's third roll call reading. Those who favor passage of the bill will vote aye. Those opposed will vote no. The clerk will open the vote. The clerk will lock the machine and record the vote, with 93 having voted in the affirmative and 16 in the negative the motion, the bill, passes. It is ordered engrossed and returned to the Senate by special message. Members, Senate Committee, Senate Committee Substitute for House Bill 366 was added to the calendar earlier. The clerk will read. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Speaker. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senate Committee Substitute number 2 for House Bill 366, the bill to be titled "an act to maintain the confidentiality of environmental investigations for agricultural operations and direct the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to adopt rules for informant complaint procedures and clarify the authority of local governments to adopt ordinances related to fertilizer." [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Cunningham, please state your purpose. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Sir, I failed to vote on the last bill and my vote would be yes. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The lady will be recorded as voting aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Dixon, please state your purpose. [SPEAKER CHANGES] For a motion and debate the motion. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman is recognized for a motion and to debate the motion. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Speaker, members of the House, I move that we not concur with House Bill 366 which comes over from the Senate. There are some very good provisions in this bill. There are some inappropriate provisions in this bill. Sometimes it is tempting to charge forward because of that which is good. However, when the two current chairs of the House Ad Committee put their endorsement on something called a Farm Act you can rest assured that only that which is appropriate to be in that bill will be in the bill. So I encourage you to vote with me to not concur. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Further discussion, further debate on the motion. If not, the question before the House is the motion to not concur in the Senate Committee Substitute number 2 for House Bill 366. All in favor will vote aye. All opposed vote no. The clerk will open the vote. The clerk will lock the machine, record the vote, 108 having voted in the affirmative and none in the negative. The House is not concurred in the Senate Committee Substitute number 2 for House Bill 366. The Senate will be so notified. Conferees will be Dixon, Chair, Langdon, Lewis, Boles, and Brisson. The Senate will be so notified. Representative Setzer, please state your purpose. [SPEAKER CHANGES] To make an announcement. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman is recognized for an announcement. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Ladies and gentlemen of the House, my seatmate, Roger West is already headed back toward home and he just text me, informed me there has been some kind of incident or accident on 40 West. This is to advise any of you that are going to be heading in the western direction, take due notice. I'm going 64, I'm not going to get in the middle of it, but I just wanted to let you all know that. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Pittman, please state your purpose. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Inquire the Chair. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman may state his inquiry. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I was wondering if there was any further information on Representative Fulghum at this time. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Not at this time. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Setzer, please state your purpose. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Additional announcement. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman is recognized for an announcement. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Wells just informed me that, through his LA, the accident is at 15501. So that gives you all a general direction of where it's at. Everybody to the west travel safely, everybody to the east you all as well. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The Chair would appreciate an exit number if we could get that on I-40.
Pages, I want to thank you all for being here this week and serving this great body. I hope you got an opportunity to make friends and learn a little bit about the process. I was back there when we were in the middle of the debate and I had one of the pages say “Could you please explain to me this whole coal ash thing?” and so I spent time on really explaining to them how coal becomes ash and they were taking it up, so at least some of you probably know more about it now than 98 % of the population, and I want to thank you for being here this week and taking that kind of interest. It’s great to see that you’re not just sitting back there but you’re listening and observing the process. I had another gentleman here say… I said “what surprised you about the legislature?” and he said “That ya’ll actually laugh and you kind of treat each other friendly.” I think that’s something that for some reason doesn’t make it to the media very often, that we do indeed, although we disagree, we do share friendship, so I think that’s a great observation too. I appreciate your service this week. I hope you’ll have a great summer, and I hope you’ll go back and encourage others to come and serve this great body. Members, let’s show our appreciation. You may now return to your station. Members, again, as announced last night, there will be no votes in the next week, and most likely not until we reconvene to take up the budget, which the Chair’s optimistic that we will ultimately reach agreement on, and hopefully sometime next week. If not then the Chair would most likely take the same position the following week, but back to Representative Jackson’s question, we will give you a minimum of 48 hours notice before we have you come back for a session that would involve a vote. And those of you who are involved in conference committees, please come back, do the work of the legislature. Those of you who are not, I would encourage you to remain home and to consider waving your per diem should you not be travelling to Raleigh or be dealing with legislative matters. Representative Carney, please state your purpose. [SPEAKER CHANGES] For a point of personal privilege. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The lady is recognized for a point of personal privilege. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and ladies and gentlemen of the House, I rise as I did last year. We came in after the 4th of July and it was on July 8th, and I read to you from the Declaration of Independence. I’m not going to do that today; I know we’re all ready to get out of here and head home, but I do encourage each of you. My father was born on the 4th of July and our family reads this every 4th of July, so for our pages in here today and for all the members, I encourage you to take a few minutes, look it up and read it. It is why we are here today. I hope everyone has a safe 4th. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Further notices and announcements. Representative Moore is recognized. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Speaker, I move that subject to the ratification of bills, messages from the Senate, committee reports, conference reports, re-referral of bills and resolutions, appointment of conferees, introduction of bills and resolutions and modifications to the calendar, that the House do now adjourn to reconvene on Monday July7th at 4 o’clock pm. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Moore moves, seconded by Representative McGrady, that the House do now adjourn subject to the ratification of bills and resolutions, receipt of messages from the Senate, receipt of committee reports, conference reports, re-referral of bills and resolutions, appointment of conferees and modifications to the calendar, to reconvene on Monday July the 7th at 4 pm. All those in favor say aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Opposed, no. The ayes have it. The House stands adjourned.