Coal Ash

dan river coal ash cleanup
David Boraks / WFAE

By EMERY P. DALESIO
AP Business Writer

Charging North Carolina consumers the full, multi-billion-dollar cost of cleaning up coal ash dumps is comparable to tire stores charging customers an extra fee to dispose of an old set of wheels, a Duke Energy Corp. executive said Monday.

David Boraks - WFAE

For several years, Duke Energy has faced criticisms about its handling of coal ash, including concerns about contamination of groundwater around coal ash storage ponds at power plant sites in the Carolinas. Now, the company is facing scrutiny over the way it engaged with experts hired to study its handling of coal ash ponds. 

Coal ash is being excavated from Duke Energy's closed Riverbend coal plant on Mountain Island Lake.
David Boraks / WFAE

Duke Energy has removed about 13 million tons of coal ash at five plants in North Carolina as it complies with federal and state cleanup requirements. But ten times that amount remains in the ground across the state, and not all that will be removed.

Duke Energy

What if a dam holding back coal ash burst at one of Duke Energy's coal plants in the Carolinas or Midwest? Newly released maps from Duke show many properties would be inundated, including some homes and docks. The maps are now public, after environmentalists threatened to sue. 

Duke Energy says it will publish federally mandated maps that it previously refused to publish, showing what could happen to neighboring properties if a coal-ash pit burst.

Two environmental advocacy groups had said last week they planned a lawsuit to force disclosure of the information withheld for more than a dozen Duke Energy sites in Indiana, Kentucky and North Carolina.

The groups said Duke Energy was the country's only electric utility not providing the dam safety information.

Amy Brown of Belmont is among the well owners who filed the suit Wednesday. In 2016 she posed in her living room with bottled water supplied by Duke Energy.
David Boraks / WFAE

Neighbors with contaminated wells near Duke Energy's North Carolina coal ash ponds are suing to halt Duke's demand that they sign away future legal claims in exchange for compensation. 

The Allen plant in Belmont was one of the places Duke Energy used calcium bromide to help remove mercury from coal.  Bromide later was found in Charlotte's Water supply.
David Boraks / WFAE

Duke Energy has withdrawn a request for state permission to use an additive at its coal-fired power plants that caused problems two years ago with Charlotte's drinking water. Environmental groups had sued, and celebrated the move. Duke said its decision was unrelated to the challenge.

dan river coal ash cleanup
David Boraks / WFAE

Dozens of insurance companies say they're not obligated to help pay for Duke Energy Corp.'s multi-billion dollar coal ash cleanup because the nation's largest electric company long knew about but did nothing to reduce the threat of potentially toxic pollutants.

Duke Energy's annual meeting is Thursday, but don't try to go to uptown Charlotte and vote your shares. This year’s meeting will be at a secret location, beamed to shareholders via telephone and internet. Protesters say they'll be at Duke's headquarters anyway.  

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

Updated 1:43 p.m.
Duke Energy is suing 30 insurance companies over who should pay to clean up toxic coal ash at its coal-fired power plants in North Carolina. The utility says any money it recovers in the suit will help reduce future rate increases to pay for cleanups.

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