Energy/Environment

Local News
10:02 am
Fri March 28, 2014

Duke Pushes Back Against State Environment Officials

A broken stormwater pipe spills coal ash into the Dan River the week of February 2nd.
Credit Appalachian Voices

Duke Energy is denying accusations by regulators that it allows contaminated storm water to run unauthorized from its coal plants. It’s the first major pushback from Duke against state regulators after the Dan River spill—but not the last, the company says.


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Local News
9:33 am
Tue March 25, 2014

Charlotte City Council Considers Coal Ash At CLT

Councilman Al Austin (right) listens to a presentation by Charah president Charles Price and chief operating officer Scott Sewell.
Credit Ben Bradford / WFAE

Charlotte’s city council took its first look Monday night at a proposal to convert the toxic leftovers of burnt coal into a building material at Charlotte Douglas airport.


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Local News
7:24 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

State: Duke Pumped Coal Ash Water Into Cape Fear Tributary

An environmental group, the Waterkeeper Alliance, took aerial photos of Duke Energy pumping water from an ash pond into a tributary of the Cape Fear River (bottom left).
Credit Waterkeeper Alliance

While a broken pipe was spilling at least 30,000 tons of coal ash into the Dan River, Duke crews were pumping coal ash wastewater into another river—the Cape Fear. Environmental officials accuse Duke of violating its permit and hiding information from regulators. Environmental groups blame the regulators.


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Local News
9:02 am
Tue March 18, 2014

NC Seeks To Prevent Fracking Companies Underpaying Landowners

A fracking well in Shreveport, Louisiana.
Credit Daniel Foster / Flickr

North Carolina officials are preparing to open the state up to fracking, a process for drilling for natural gas. The state is expected to vote on rules to govern companies who want to drill later this year—rules to protect the environment, but also for landowners. The latter will be especially important, after a recent investigative report shows companies in other states have bilked landowners for the gas under their land.


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Local News
7:54 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Coal Ash Could Help Airport, But Waste Ponds Have More Pollutants

A diagram of the coal ash and its encapsulation, as Duke and Charah are proposing at CLT.
Credit Charah

Duke Energy says it will remove the coal ash controversially stored on the banks of Mountain Island Lake. That has long been a goal of environmental groups. After that announcement, Duke quickly offered a proposal to the City of Charlotte: use the ash at Charlotte-Douglas airport, as fill for land, for new runways, taxiways, and other projects. That proposal from Duke could be a cheap option for an airport whose calling card is its low cost.

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Local News
7:03 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Duke Proposes Removing Coal Ash Stored Along Mountain Island Lake

Duke has proposed closing the Riverbend Steam Station's ash ponds and moving the ash to lined landfills.
Credit Duke Energy

Duke Energy has announced plans to close many coal ash ponds across the state, including at the Riverbend Steam Station on Mountain Island Lake, after at least 30,000 tons of the toxic byproduct from burning coal spilled into the Dan River last month. City officials say Duke and another company have proposed that the airport use the ash.

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Local News
4:10 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

City Cancels Airport Solar Farm

Charlotte-Douglas officials found installing solar panels in parking lots--like these used by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service--could jeopardize tax-exempt bonds.
Credit U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service / Flickr

The City of Charlotte has canceled its plan for an ambitious solar power project at Charlotte-Douglas airport, at least for now. Airport officials say new construction and old bonds make the project unfeasible.


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Local News
9:17 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Judge Rules State Must Halt Duke Energy Ash Pond Leaks

An aerial view of the Dan River power plant, including an ash pond that spilled at least 30,000 tons of coal ash into the river.
Credit Duke Energy

A North Carolina judge has ruled that state environmental regulators must immediately stop groundwater contamination from coal ash ponds at all 14 of Duke Energy’s coal-fired power plants. The decision is a victory for environmental groups opposed to how Duke Energy stores the leftover byproduct from burnt coal at its power plants, but it does not resolve what will happen to the ash.

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Local News
3:34 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

President's Budget Halts Overbudget SC Nuclear Program

Early construction of the MOX facility at the Savannah River Site, in Aiken, S.C.
Credit Department of Energy

An agreement between the United States and Russia calls for disposal of 34 metric tons of weapons-grade plutonium from each country, enough to produce 17,000 nuclear weapons, according to the Department of Defense. But multi-billion dollar cost overruns at the South Carolina facility built for the disposal has the Obama administration seeking to put the project on hold.

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Local News
7:47 pm
Mon March 3, 2014

State Cites Duke For Storm Water Run Off At Coal Plants

The Cliffside Steam Station in Rutherford County.
Credit Duke Energy

North Carolina regulators are cracking down on Duke Energy for allowing storm water to flow unauthorized from its coal plants into state rivers and lakes. Regulators have known about the runoff for years, but are taking action amidst allegations they have been too soft on Duke.


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