Coal Ash

Duke Energy is removing coal ash from basins near the retired Riverbend Plant, near Mountain Island Lake.
David Boraks / WFAE

Duke Energy this summer will ask North Carolina regulators to raise the rates consumers pay on their electricity bills for the first time in four years. The rate hikes – at Duke’s two electricity subsidiaries in the state - would help pay for new plants, Hurricane Matthew recovery costs and coal ash cleanups.

Duke Energy is removing coal ash from basins near the retired Riverbend Plant, near Mountain Island Lake.
David Boraks / WFAE

A new Duke University study has found high levels of selenium in fish at two lakes near Duke Energy coal-ash sites in North Carolina. But Duke Energy says its own studies have found no problems with fish from the lakes.

Marcelle and Deborah Graham live near Duke Energy's Buck plant in Salisbury. They think the company's offer of coal ash compensation isn't enough.
David Boraks / WFAE

State law requires Duke Energy to provide public water line connections or water filtration systems to about a thousand households near its North Carolina coal ash dumps by late 2018. Last week, the company offered a cash bonus, too - but only if homeowners give up the right to sue. Some don't like the offer. 

Updated 6:11 p.m.
State environmental officials have given preliminary approval to Duke Energy's plans for providing alternate water supplies to neighbors of coal ash dumps around the state.  Meanwhile, the company says it will offer one-time $5,000 payments, water bill stipends and other assistance to homeowners near coal sites.  

The leaking pipe
Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation

Duke Energy says it has sealed a broken pipe found leaking from a coal ash dump at the Allen electric plant in Gaston County. The utility and an environmental group are disagreeing about the severity of the leak.

Coal ash pond at Duke Energy's H.F. Lee plant in Wayne County will be drained and excavated, and the coal ash recycled in concrete products.
Duke Energy

Duke Energy has picked a site in eastern North Carolina's Wayne County for the second of three planned coal ash recycling facilities.  The company says it will excavate about 6 million tons of coal ash stored near the H.F. Lee plant in Goldsboro and recycle it for concrete products.

A worker delivers bottled water to a home in Belmont, near Duke Energy's Allen coal plant. Duke will provide a permament drinking water supply to well owners by 2018.
David Boraks / WFAE

Duke Energy has given state environmental officials details of how it plans to provide safe, permanent water supplies to people who live near the company's coal ash dumps.  The filings, for all but two plants, comply with a state law requiring the plans by Dec. 15.

Environmental groups said coal ash was polluting water near the Sutton plant in Wilmington.
Duke Energy

Duke Energy has agreed to pay at least $1 million to settle a federal lawsuit by environmental groups over water pollution near a now-retired coal-fired power plant in Wilmington. 

Trucks move coal ash at Duke's Marshall Steam Station on Lake Norman. The company plans to cover ash in place at the plant.
David Boraks / WFAE

Duke Energy plans to leave coal ash in place at North Carolina coal ash basins where it hasn't already announced closure plans. Duke announced those plans Friday to comply with federal coal ash cleanup rules.  

Avner Vengosh
Duke University

As Duke Energy and environmentalists have debated the safety of private wells near coal ash ponds, they've disagreed about the source of a carcinogen called hexavalent chromium. Scientists at Duke University figured out how to identify the chemical’s source. Conclusions from the study of 376 private wells say coal ash likely isn't to blame. WFAE's David Boraks talked with the study's lead author, Avner Vengosh about his research and recommendations.

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