The R&B Landfill in Banks County has received at least 6.7 million tons of coal ash from out of state.
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Brunswick lawmaker pushing for transparency in coal ash disposal

A Brunswick Republican lawmaker wants to make coal-powered plants notify its neighbors when it makes changes to the way it disposes of coal ash. 

State Rep. Jeff Jones’ proposal, House Bill 94, would require plant operators to notify the local government and the public when removing the water from a coal ash pond.

Environmentalists argue that, unregulated, power plants could cause toxins to leak into the ground water if water is not removed properly. 

Coal ash contains a variety of toxins — including arsenic, cadmium and lead. Those toxins can cause illnesses such as cancer and heart disease.

A second bill, House Bill 93, would require power plant officials to notify the public when the operators of a landfill want to begin storing coal ash. If approved, new landfills could not receive coal ash unless it meets requirements keeping it away from groundwater. 

Both bills have bipartisan support.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.