Cape Fear River Watch

Duke Energy Progress

Sixty-one million gallons:  that’s the amount of untreated wastewater from coal ash ponds that state regulators estimate poured into a tributary of the Cape Fear River.  

State regulators have issued a citation to Duke Energy for violating its wastewater permit in Chatham County.

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The Department of Environment and Natural Resources is required to give the nation’s largest electric utility 30 days to respond to the notice of violation. 

This December, Duke Energy Progress will retire the coal units at Wilmington’s Sutton Plant, and switch to more energy-efficient natural gas operations. But while those coal units are being decommissioned, Duke will keep their ash basins operational for what they say is a short time. However, local environmental advocates are pushing to excavate the ash immediately, as they say its chemical components could pose public health threats. WHQR’s Katie O’Reilly reports that the Sierra Club and Cape Fear River Watch have teamed up to launch a petition demanding a timetable from Duke.

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The Cape Fear Public Utility Authority and Duke / Progress Energy will collaborate to construct a water line for a small, largely low-income community on the outskirts of New Hanover County. 

Cape Fear River Watch holds its annual Striper Fest 2012 January 13th and 14th.   In Wednesday's midday interview, Riverkeeper Kemp Burdette talked with Rachel Lewis Hilburn about the importance of fisheries restoration and public education.