FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Monday, September 17, 2018
Contact: Betsy Theroux
Rep. Jeff Jones to Reintroduce Legislation to Protect State’s Water Supply, Issues Statement on Collapse of Coal Ash Landfill
ATLANTA – State Representative Jeff Jones (R-Brunswick) today announced that he will reintroduce legislation in the 2019 legislative session of the Georgia General Assembly that will focus on protecting the state’s water supplies from heavy metal toxicity that exists in coal ash.
Rep. Jones also issued a statement on the recent collapse of the coal ash landfill at L.V. Sutton Power Station outside of Wilmington, North Carolina:
“During the 2017-18 session of the Georgia General Assembly, I sponsored legislation that focused specifically on protecting our state’s pristine water supplies from the dangerously high levels of heavy metal toxicity that exist in coal ash.
“I will reintroduce HB 879 and HB 880 into the 2019-2020 session. The people of Georgia deserve better; they have a natural right to clean, safe drinking water. These bills do just that - they provide for the safe storage of coal-ash and increased public disclosure.
“We have discovered and acknowledged a significant potential public health problem, yet we have failed to act. Let's resolve to correct our inaction. In the days to come, I will confer with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to determine how we may best move this legislation forward with immediacy and resoluteness.”
Rep. Jones sponsored House Bills 879 and 880 during the 2017-2018 legislative session of the Georgia General Assembly and intends to reintroduce these measures in 2019. HB 879 would require utilities to provide a 30-day advance notice to local citizens prior to draining the highly toxic coal ash water into state waters such as rivers, lakes and streams where citizens swim, fish, boat and play. HB 880 would establish tighter standards for how coal ash is to be properly stored in Georgia’s solid waste storage facilities for the future. Rep. Jones says that the goal of this legislation is to protect Georgia’s pristine water supply from the improper, long-term storage of highly toxic coal ash, whether that coal ash was generated in Georgia or from utilities in surrounding states.
Representative Jeff Jones represents the citizens of District 167, which includes portions of Glynn, Long and McIntosh counties. He was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2014 and currently serves as Vice Chairman of the Motor Vehicles Committee. He also serves on the Insurance, Interstate Cooperation and Science and Technology committees.