Energy/Environment

Local News
11:17 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

New Revelations During State Coal Ash Hearing

A stormwater pipe poured coal ash into the Dan River on February 2nd, staining the river grey.
Credit Appalachian Voices

State lawmakers got their first official chance to review this month’s coal ash spill, which poured at least 30,000 tons of the toxic byproduct of burnt coal into the Dan River. Monday’s meeting of the General Assembly’s Environmental Review Commission revealed more about the spill response than the company or regulators had previously disclosed, including a fortuitous construction accident that helped stem the leak.


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Local News
6:27 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Fallout Continues From Dan River Coal Ash Spill

The ash basin spilled at least 30,000 tons of coal ash into the Dan River, after a stormwater pipe broke on February 2nd.
Credit Duke Energy

While the frightful weather took a lot of attention this week in Charlotte, up north the fallout continued from a coal ash spill into the Dan River. A broken pipe in a Duke Energy ash pond poured over 30,000 tons of coal ash into the river, until crews plugged it a week ago.This week another pipe failed, releasing wastewater; the justice department began investigating the spill; and environmental groups now say they have found another, unrelated leak from the storage pond that holds the coal ash. WFAE’s Ben Bradford joined All Things Considered host Marshall Terry to discuss the latest.


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Local News
2:08 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Duke Energy Looks To Almost Double NC Solar

Credit Duke Energy/Flickr

Duke Energy plans to almost double the amount of solar energy its North Carolina utilities use by the end of next year. The utility has about 350 megawatts of solar in the state right now, the size of a small natural gas or coal plant.

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Local News
2:26 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

New Duke Estimate Shows Less Ash Spilled Into Dan River

Workers in yellow jackets work to seal the broken pipe at the Dan River coal plant last week.
Credit Ben Bradford / WFAE

A revised estimate shows less coal ash than previously thought leaked into the Dan River during a spill last week. Duke Energy now says less than 40,000 tons spilled into the river.

When that stormwater pipe burst ten days ago under a Duke Energy ash pond, the company estimated up to 82,000 tons of ash had spilled into the river, or about 8 percent of the entire pond. Water and ash continued to leak throughout the week as crews worked to plug the pipe. Regulators and Duke promised an updated number once the leak was sealed, which occurred early Saturday morning.

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Local News
10:18 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

State Rethinks Duke Settlement After Coal Ash Spill

After last week’s coal ash spill, which poured at least tens of thousands of tons of the toxic byproduct of burnt coal into the Dan River, state regulators want to delay their own settlement with Duke Energy over its storage of ash at coal plants across North Carolina.

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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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