Northam proposes coal ash disposal, coastal protection bills

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Gov. Ralph Northam has proposed a package of environmental legislation aimed at safely disposing of coal ash, helping coastal communities deal with flooding caused by climate change and continuing the cleanup of the Chesapeake Bay.

The legislative agenda unveiled Thursday includes the Coastal Protection Act. The law would allow the state to use an estimated $50 million in revenue from the sale of carbon pollution credits for coastal resilience projects. It also would dedicate funds for economic transition for coal communities.

The Water Quality and Safety Act would require all coal ash to be removed from unlined pits and either recycled or moved to EPA-approved landfills.

Another bill would make it easier for rural communities to access matching grants to reduce polluted runoff from roads and parking lots.

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