coal ash ponds

New Hanover County recently approved revisions to its special use permit.  Duke Energy is working to close its coal ash pits at the Sutton Steam Plant site and held a public meeting last week to update stakeholders on the progress.  Also last week, and officials from the Environmental Protection Agency, North Carolina’s Department of Environmental Quality, and others held a public meeting in Navassa – about the testing and clean-up project on the former Kerr-McGee chemical site across the river in Brunswick County -- which is a Superfund site. 

This broadcast of CoastLine originally aired on July 2, 2014.  

Coal ash in North Carolina— What is it?  Why and how should we regulate it?  And how soon will we will see coal ash cleaned up? 

Coal ash grabbed the national spotlight back in February when a wastewater pipe burst at Duke Energy’s Eden Plant, spilling an estimated 39,000 tons into the Dan River.  What many news media outlets are commonly calling toxic sludge coated about 70 miles of that waterway, which winds along the North Carolina–Virginia border. 

Wilmington’s Sutton Plant is one of five statewide Duke Energy coal operations being decommissioned—and the closing of this one is of high priority to lawmakers. In November, Duke Energy retired Sutton’s coal operations. Although it’s now a natural gas plant, more than two million tons of dried coal ash—the waste generated after coal is burned—remains on the site. And the legislation that will determine exactly how much time Duke has to dispose of it all is pending in the General Assembly’s current session. WHQR has this look at the Sutton Plant’s retired coal operation.

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A coalition of environmental groups is working to ignite local activism on the coal ash front.  

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A new water line connecting homes and businesses in the Flemington Community to the area’s main water supply is now in the works. 

Duke / Progress Energy is facing yet another lawsuit over coal ash pollution from its Sutton Energy Plant just outside of Wilmington.