Coal Ash

Ben Bradford / WFAE

A federal rule to lower mercury, arsenic, lead, and other potentially toxic heavy metals from power plants lies in limbo after a Supreme Court decision Monday. But in the Carolinas, the practical effect will be minimal.


Ben Bradford / WFAE

At the Riverbend coal plant near Charlotte, a front end loader shovels a load of coal ash and drops it into the bed of a truck, which will haul the ash to a landfill in Georgia. Riverbend is one of four coal plants where Duke and state lawmakers committed to removing all the ash from ponds where it’s stored. Heavy metals, like arsenic, can seep from the ash into groundwater.


Ben Bradford / WFAE

Since a spill polluted the Dan River early last year, coal ash has become an environmental head ache for Duke Energy. But while Duke, state regulators, and environmental groups struggle with how to safely store or bury more than 100 million tons of the waste, other industries don’t look at coal ash as waste—it’s a commodity, and they want more.


Charah

Duke Energy and Chatham County have resolved a dispute over the transfer of coal ash.

Ben Bradford / WFAE

Duke Energy has pleaded guilty to federal criminal charges for its handling of coal ash, which led to last year’s Dan River spill and violated the Clean Water Act around the state.


After a battery of tests on private drinking water wells near coal ash ponds around North Carolina, health officials have cautioned many residents against drinking from those wells. But officials are hesitant to draw a link between contaminants in the wells and the nearby coal ash ponds.


Google

Cold weather helped and drought hurt Duke Energy’s earnings this quarter. The company announced its results today, which included the effects of its settlement with federal prosecutors and a changing customer base.


Eighty-seven homes near Duke Energy coal ash ponds around North Carolina have well-water contaminated with heavy metals, according to state environmental regulators. 

Sun. Headlines: Gov. Won't Sign Coal Ash Bill

Apr 12, 2015

North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory has refused to sign a bill that includes funding for a commission overseeing the cleanup of coal ash dumps. The governor said a three-judge panel sided with him in declaring the commission unconstitutional. But the spending bill still becomes law Sunday without his signature.   McCrory's office said he supports most of the bill but can't endorse it because of the provision that funds a commission legally barred from taking any official action.

Courtesy of Duke Energy

The 2014 bonuses for five of Duke Energy’s top executives were cut by 35 percent. This is response, the company says, to last year’s coal ash spill into the Dan River. 

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