State lawmaker calls for cancer cluster study related to coal as - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

State lawmaker calls for cancer cluster study related to coal ash

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BELMONT, NC (WBTV) -

Jon Crawford's child memories were formed near Duke Energy's Allen Plant in Belmont.
However, with the issue of coal ash emerging front and center, he is going through a series of youthful flashbacks.

"Some mornings there was so much ash on the ground you couldn't dribble a basketball," he recalled.

State Representative Kelly Alexander Jr. feels that a cancer cluster study conducted in neighborhoods near coal ash sites could answer a number of questions regarding health concerns of those who live near these sites.

Alexander said, "We need to know what effect, if any may be showing up in the population." 

While Duke Energy officials during a tour of the Riverbend Plant would not say if they back the idea of a study, they say routine tests have not shown any health concerns.

Erin Culbert is a communications manager for Duke Energy. She said, "There is no evidence that should give neighbors concerns."

Try explaining that to Jon Crawford who has neighbors with cancer, and those who now only drink bottled water.

To him, the smoke stacks near his home offer a troubling reminder. "We thought it was something safe. We thought it was something safe."

Crawford supports the idea of a cancer cluster study, and that is something that state law makers could bring up during the short session that is underway in Raleigh.

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