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.
Residents of Flemington, a small community located off of U.S. 421, will soon be connected to New Hanover County’s main water system. Officials from Cape Fear Public Utility Authority, or CFPUA, say they'll construct a new connective water pipeline this year. This is because groundwater containing coal ash slurry from Duke Progress Energy’s Sutton Plant has been slowly seeping toward Flemington’s current drinking wells. The CFPUA held a public meeting to discuss the pipeline Tuesday night, but fewer than five private citizens attended—and none made public comments.