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Gov. McCrory raises concerns over Coal Ash Commission

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Gov. Pat McCrory discusses coal ash legislation on NC SPIN. Gov. Pat McCrory discusses coal ash legislation on NC SPIN.
RALEIGH, N.C. -

Gov. Pat McCrory says he'll sign a "coal ash cleanup" bill in response to this year's massive spill, but he says he has strong issues with the legislation.

McCrory said he may challenge a key provision that forms a Coal Ash Commission.

"I am not happy with the commission, and we're probably going to have to do a constitutional challenge to that commission," McCrory said Sunday night on an episode of NC SPIN.

The bill was drafted in response to the spilling of 35,000 gallons of the toxic sludge into the Dan River in February.

The Coal Ash Commission would oversee the removal and capping of coal ash at 33 sites owned by Duke Energy.

"There are so many commissions being formed with total independence, and if those commissions start doing bad jobs then there's nobody in control," McCrory said.

The House, Senate and the governor will oversee three appointments each of the nine person commission.

"The governor is certainly perhaps going to sign the bill and contest it later which is very unusual," said David McLennan, a political science professor at Meredith College "Typically the governor would veto a piece of legislation, but i think he so much wants this legislation to move forward that he's going to deal with the constitutionality later."

Oversight of the Coal Ash Commission will belong to the Department of Public Safety, instead of the Department of Energy and Natural Resources -- a move the governor called illogical.

DENR is still under a federal grand jury probe into its relations with duke energy.

Members of the Coal Ash Commission could be appointed as early as January.

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