Senate Bill 71, which was ratified by congress June 1, 2016, would have reinstated the Coal Ash Commission, which was disbanded earlier this March after debate over the constitutionality of how members may be appointed.
The commission’s presented purpose was prevention of human and environmental health risks, particularly those arising from spills of coal ash such as the huge overflow into the Dan River in February 2014.
The Coal Ash Management Act was ultimately passed in response to the Dan River incident and created the Coal Ash Commission, which was intended to act as supervision over the closure of Duke Energy’s coal ash ponds after several instances of contaminated drinking water.
On June 6, McCrory vetoed Sentate Bill 71. This veto was expected, however, as McCrory had announced his disapproval before the bill was ratified, citing mostly concerns over the timeliness of the bill and its efficacy in environmental protections.