The deadline for commenting on the proposed settlement between the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources and Duke Energy regarding coal-ash contamination came and went earlier this week. The department is reporting that 4,933 public comments were received and that they'll soon be posted online in the same place that the rest of the state's case against the energy giant have been posted.
Per an email I received from Susan Massengale, spokeswoman for the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources (SIC throughout):
Yes, we plan to post the comments. They will be posted where the other proposed consent order information is available on the website. We intend to have that done promptly.
The totals we have so far (there may be a couple of stragglers that got posted by the deadline but haven't made it here yet) are: 4540 form letters, 393 individually written letters/emails; 10 of those were hand written, the rest typed.
As I reported earlier this week, Massengale explained how the public comments will be factored into the state's and the judge's decision-making process:
The public-comment period lasts 30 days, until August 14. After that, staff will take 30 days to review the comments received and make recommendations for any appropriate changes to the document. A summary of the comments and the final proposed agreement will be given to the Superior Court judge presiding over civil actions. The judge can take whatever time he or she feels is appropriate to review the materials before making a decision.
I'll keep an eye out for the comments and let you know when they've been posted so you can read them for yourself. You're welcome.