Energy/Environment

Local News
9:33 am
Tue February 11, 2014

Illegal Dumping; The Latest On The Criminal Investigation And Cleanup

Credit Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities

It’s been nearly a week since someone illegally pumped more than a thousand gallons of PCB’s, a toxic chemical,  into the Charlotte sewer system.  WFAE’s Tom Bullock reports on where the criminal investigation stands and the cleanup the city is facing.

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Local News
9:44 am
Mon February 10, 2014

No PCB's Found In Second Sewer System Dumping

Officials in Charlotte say materials dumped into the sewer system for the second time within a couple of days did not include PCB’s as originally suspected.

Charlotte officials said yesterday that tests indicated that the substance flowing into Sugar Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant was ethanol, which is typical of a fuel spill. There is no threat to drinking water. Work crews are inspecting sewer pipes upstream of the Sugar Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant where the contamination was found to try locating the source of the problem.

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Local News
11:08 pm
Sat February 8, 2014

Arsenic Levels In Dan River Were Over NC Standard

Scientists collect water samples from the Dan River following a coal ash spill from a retired Duke Energy plant.
Credit NC DENR

Officials continue to monitor water quality near the site of a coal ash spill from a retired Duke Energy plant on the Dan River in northern North Carolina. WFAE's Duncan McFadyen reports arsenic levels exceeded a state standard earlier this week.
 


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Local News
6:17 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Crews Plug Dan River Coal Ash Leak

Duke Energy workers installed a crane to clear a path to the broken pipe under an ash pond at the Dan River coal plant in Eden, N.C.
Credit Ben Bradford / WFAE

**UPDATE 2/8/2014 10:30 a.m.**

As of Saturday morning, Duke Energy workers have installed a permanent plug at the end of the wastewater pipe. A company representative says the "concrete-like substance" is curing. To keep pressure off of the plug as it cures, wastewater is still being pumped from the pipe and back into the coal ash pond. Crews are still trying to reach the broken part of the pipe under the ash pond. When they do, they plan to fill the full length of the pipe with the same concrete-like material.

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Workers have temporarily stopped the flow of ash and water into the Dan River on the border of North Carolina and Virginia, and plan to permanently patch the leak overnight.


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Local News
11:36 am
Fri February 7, 2014

Toxic Chemicals Illegally Dumped Into Charlotte Sewer

Credit Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities

Charlotte police are trying to identify who pumped toxic chemicals into a city sewer line.  The incident caused authorities to shut down the Mallard Creek water treatment plant for some 17 hours.

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Local News
6:22 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Dan River Test Results Start To Come In

Crews working to get to the broken stormwater pipe under a coal ash pond at Duke Energy's retired Dan River coal plant, February 6, 2014.
Credit Duke Energy

Water test results are starting to come in from the part of the Dan River affected by a coal ash spill at a retired Duke Energy plant on the border of North Carolina and Virginia. WFAE’s Duncan McFadyen reports early results are in.


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Local News
7:36 am
Thu February 6, 2014

Day 5 Of Coal Ash Leak Into NC River

A contingent from Greenpeace led by N.C. State student Caroline Hartley returns from the site of the spill.
Credit Ben Bradford / WFAE

A broken stormwater pipe from a retired Duke coal plant continues to leak ashy water into the Dan River on the border of North Carolina and Virginia. The pipe broke under an ash pond at the decommissioned Dan River coal plant, about 20 miles from Danville, Virginia. Duke workers are still trying to stem the flow and patch the leak.


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Local News
6:21 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Coal Ash Spills From Storage Pond At Duke Energy's Dan River Plant

The cracked wastewater pipe outflow at the Dan River.
Appalachian Voices

Engineers with Duke Energy are working to fix a broken drain pipe under a coal ash storage pond in northern North Carolina. As much as 10 percent of the coal ash in the pond may have spilled into the Dan River, just south of the Virginia state line. WFAE's Ben Bradford updates Morning Edition Host Kevin Kniestedt on the situation.


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Business
9:32 am
Tue February 4, 2014

Rooftop Solar Boosters Worry Boom Will End If Duke Gets Its Way

Vivian Lord's solar panels take up a small section of the roof, abate 75 percent of her household's utility bill.
Credit Ben Bradford / WFAE

Americans installed solar panels at their homes last year at a record pace, and backers of rooftop solar picture a not-too-distant future, where entire neighborhoods power themselves with the sun’s rays. For now, users and the industry rely on generous tax incentives and special agreements with electric utilities to reach affordability. Duke Energy wants to reduce how much it pays customers for the energy they produce. Rooftop solar advocates call it an attack on a burgeoning industry, while the utility says it is about cost.


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Local News
5:28 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

Duke Ends Attempt To Buy Share Of SC Nuclear Plant

After two and a half years of negotiations, just when it looked like Duke Energy would buy a portion of a new nuclear plant in South Carolina, the company announced it has cut off negotiations.

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