Energy/Environment

Local News
3:15 pm
Thu July 2, 2015

NC Environment Secretary: EPA Should Delay Carbon Rule

N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Donald van der Vaart.
Credit NCDENR

A U.S. Supreme Court ruling against federal efforts to limit mercury and other toxic emissions at coal plants won’t have much direct effect in North Carolina, but the state’s environment secretary argues it should impact the thinking on another, upcoming federal rule to limit carbon emissions.

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Energy & Environment
7:27 pm
Tue June 30, 2015

Most Duke Plants Ready For EPA Mercury Rule Anyway

Pipes inside the Marshall Steam Station carry coal, water, and steam. Marshall is one of two coal plants in the state that would not comply with the EPA's mercury rule, which the Supreme Court remanded to a lower court.
Credit 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.


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Energy & Environment
12:06 am
Wed June 24, 2015

Duke Proposes Moving More Coal Ash

A contractor loads coal ash into a truck at the Riverbend coal plant in Mt. Holly.
Credit 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.


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Energy & Environment
9:36 am
Mon June 22, 2015

The Industry That Wants More Coal Ash

A cement truck sits in front of the mixing plant at Concrete Supply Co. in Charlotte.
Credit 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.


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Energy & Environment
2:12 pm
Tue June 16, 2015

Duke To Pay Chatham County For Coal Ash Storage

A graphic from Duke's environmental contractor, Charah, shows how the company wraps coal ash and uses it as fill.
Credit Charah

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

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Energy & Environment
7:49 pm
Fri June 12, 2015

Despite Drilling, Fracking Far From Imminent In NC

A U.S. Geological Survey map shows basins in North Carolina believed to contain oil and gas.
Credit usgs.gov

News that state environment officials were drilling near the Dan River last week to look for oil and gas caused a stir. One headline read: “North Carolina Wants To Frack In Small Town Already Struggling With Coal Ash.”


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Energy & Environment
6:42 pm
Fri May 29, 2015

Big Tech Joins Fight Against NC Solar Changes

Credit Thomas Kohler / Flickr

The biggest companies in tech want top North Carolina lawmakers to back away from changing the state’s renewable energy laws. They join the solar energy industry and environmental advocates in their opposition to legislation that’s nearly reached the governor’s desk.


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Energy & Environment
9:29 am
Fri May 22, 2015

Gas-Guzzling NASCAR Takes Green Initiatives To Heart

A pit crew member rolls containers of ethanol-blended fuel toward the racetrack.
Credit Michael Tomsic

When you think "environmentally friendly," NASCAR is probably not the first thing that comes to mind.

After all, burning fuel is a fundamental part of stock car racing. But NASCAR, like other pro sports, is trying to decrease its carbon footprint. Some of those initiatives will be on display at the Coca-Cola 600 this weekend at the Charlotte Motor Speedway.

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Energy & Environment
1:14 pm
Thu May 14, 2015

Duke Pleads Guilty To Coal Ash Misconduct

Most of the water, and at least 30,000 tons of ash spilled out of this storage pond at Duke Energy's Dan River plant, leaving deep furrows in the remaining ash.
Credit 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.


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Charlotte Talks
9:00 am
Wed May 13, 2015

Solar Energy In North Carolina

Strata Solar

  Solar energy has gone from a pipe dream to a boom industry in North Carolina.  This state put more solar online last year than every state other than California.  That growth came despite major restrictions that the legislature is looking into removing.  If they did, it would change the way solar companies make their money.  Right now, owners of rooftop solar can only sell power to the major utilities.  This bill would change that and we’ll explore both sides.

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