Coal Ash Chronicles

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UPDATED, with names; Who is on the “Coal Ash Task Force”?

That is a damn good question, y’all. I’ve been asking the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resource (DENR), but so far nothing.

In fact, as of this writing there is zero mention of the task force on DENR’s website, unless you count this presentation to legislators where the creation of the task force was mentioned on page 44.

The task force was announced on Feb. 11, and the first meeting was held on Feb. 14. But so far, no word about who’s on the task force, when they meet, how much it will cost (DENR said nothing), what was said in the meetings, etc.

Nearly everything we know about DENR’s coal ash task force is thanks to Twitter.

Read on:

That’s it. That’s all we know about the state’s coal ash task force.

Here are questions I’ve been asking DENR about the task force, questions that should take minutes to answer, not days:

From: Rhiannon Fionn [mailto:rhi@coalashchronicles.com]
Sent: Tuesday, February 25, 2014 11:46 AM
To: ‘Kritzer, Jamie’; ‘Massengale, Susan’
Subject: Coal Ash Task Force — members and meetings

Jamie and Susan,

Are the coal ash task force meetings open to the public? If so, where and when are they held? If not, why not?

Also, who is on the task force? Names and titles, please. How were these individuals chosen to be part of the task force?

I understand the first meeting of the task force was held on Fri., Feb. 14. Please forward a transcript or meeting notes.

Thank you.

Rhiannon Fionn

From: Rhiannon Fionn [mailto:rhi@coalashchronicles.com]
Sent: Thursday, February 27, 2014 11:36 AM
To: Kritzer, Jamie; Massengale, Susan
Subject: RE: Coal Ash Task Force — members and meetings
Importance: High

Jamie and Susan,

I understand you are busy, but I’m sure you understand that this is public information that needs to be shared.

When can I expect the information I requested in the below message? Better still, when will NC DENR post it online for all?

Thanks,

Rhiannon

From: Kritzer, Jamie [mailto:jamie.kritzer@ncdenr.gov]
Sent: Thursday, February 27, 2014 11:45 AM
To: Rhiannon Fionn; Massengale, Susan
Subject: RE: Coal Ash Task Force — members and meetings

Rhiannon,

We’ll get this up as soon as possible. But we’re chasing a lot of urgent information requests as well.

Please be patient.

Thank you.

Jamie

From: Rhiannon Fionn [mailto:rhi@coalashchronicles.com]
Sent: Friday, February 28, 2014 9:07 AM
To: ‘Kritzer, Jamie’; ‘Massengale, Susan’; ‘Walker, Michele’; ‘Munger, Bridget’
Subject: + Cliffside spill RE: Coal Ash Task Force — members and meetings

Hoping to get the information requested on the clean coal task force today. Please add this question to the pile: When is the next meeting, and where will it be held?

Additionally, was any enforcement action taken after the 2005 Duke Energy Cliffside spill? If yes, please explain in detail. If no, why not?

Thank you. TGIF.

Rhiannon Fionn

UPDATE:

Twenty minutes after posting this, DENR sent me a list of names. Unfortunately, they didn’t answer any of the other questions … so I asked them again.

Though, they did say that the task force is meeting every Friday. So, now I’m asking for transcripts from every meeting, which, I should add, should have already been posted online along with all of these names.

Here’s the list:

  • Don Evans, DENR Division of Water Resources, Program Manager-Construction Grants & Loans
  • Donald Vandervaart, DENR Division of Energy, Mineral, Env Prgrm Manager I, Air Quality,
    Permits Section
  • Stanley “Jay” Zimmerman, DENR Division of Water Resources, Section Chief, Water Quality, Aquifer Protection Section. LinkedIn.
  • Tom Reeder, DENR Division of Water Resources, DWR Director
  • John Skvarla, DENR Secretary (i.e. “the boss). LinkedIn.
  • Sergi Chernikov, DENR Division of Water Resources, Environmental Engineer II
  • Tracy Davis, PE, CPM, DENR Division of Energy, Mineral and Land Resources, Division Director
  • Jeff Poupart, DENR Division of Water Resources, Point Source Branch Supervisor. LinkedIn.
  • Drew Elliot, DENR Communications Director — not listed in DENR’s staff database online. LinkedIn.
  • Ed Mussler, DENR Division of Waste Management — not listed in DENR’s staff database online; not found on LinkedIn.
  • Dexter Matthews, DENR Division of Waste Management, Director. LinkedIn.
  • Lacy Presnell, DENR Administration, General Counsel. LinkedIn.
  • Elizabeth Werner, DENR Division of Waste Management, Hydrogeologist, Waste Management, Solid Waste Section, Permitting Branch. LinkedIn.
  • Steve McEvoy, DENR Division of Energy, Mineral and Land Resources, State Dam Safety Engineer
  • Mitch Gillespie, DENR Administration, Assistant Secretary for the Environment
  • Rick Bolich, DENR Division of Water Resources, RRO APS Supervisor, Aquifer Protection Section. LinkedIn.
  • Toby Vinson, DENR Division of Energy, Mineral and Land Resources, Chief Engineer. LinkedIn.
  • Layla Cummings, DENR Administration — no title listed; listed as a “legal specialist” on LinkedIn.
  • Michael Ellison, DENR Ecosystem Enhancement Program, Director

I’ll be double checking all of these names and titles; I’ve already corrected a couple that were vague. You can review the list as it was sent to me by DENR here (Google Docs, PDF).

Note: Updating titles exactly as they appear on DENR’s website.

Filed under NC coal ash task force transparency

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