Coal Ash

Local News
9:18 am
Thu July 3, 2014

Four Things To Know About The House Coal Ash Bill

Credit Duke Energy

The question about what to do with coal ash around the state came to the North Carolina House floor last night. In a contentious three hour debate, Republican lawmakers defended controversial changes to the bill they received from the Senate and defeated more than a dozen amendments. As the bill nears becoming law, here are four things to know about the latest version.

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Local News
8:35 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

N.C. DENR Cites Duke Energy For More Leaking Drain Pipes At Coal Ash Dams

Credit Duke Energy

The state Department of Environment and Natural Resources has completed its review of video inspections of drain pipes at Duke Energy’s coal ash ponds. Engineers say Duke needs to repair or fill in pipes at all of its coal plants. The state issued 14 citations earlier this month and another nine yesterday. The drain pipes are part of the system that filters overflow water from coal ash ponds and sends it under the dams into nearby lakes or rivers. DENR spokeswoman Bridget Munger says the state ordered Duke to record video from inside the pipes following the large coal ash spill in February at Duke’s retired Dan River plant. But she explains that unlike the pipe that broke at Dan River, these pipes run under the dams, not under the ponds themselves.


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Local News
10:18 am
Wed June 25, 2014

Contentious Debate, Unanimous Vote For Coal Ash Bill In NC Senate

The retired Riverbend Steam Station contains four million tons of coal ash and lies on the bank of Mountain Island Lake, Charlotte's drinking water source. The plant is one of four specifically listed for closure in the Senate bill.
Credit Mark Rumsey / WFAE

The North Carolina Senate tentatively approved a bill last night that would determine what happens to the coal ash ponds at all 14 of Duke Energy’s coal plants in the state. The debate was far more rancorous than the final vote.


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Local News
8:24 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Fact Check: Carcinogens In Rowan County Wells Overblown In Recent Reports

Discolored water seeps up on private property near Duke Energy's retired Buck coal plant. Samples turned up high levels of coal ash constituents.
Credit Dot Griffith / Waterkeeper Alliance

A story has been making the rounds this week about a Rowan County community called Dukeville. Environmentalists found toxic heavy metals in drinking water wells near Duke Energy’s retired Buck coal plant, suggesting contamination from coal ash. One metal found in all the wells has generated the most attention.  

“A cancer-causing chemical, called hexavalent chromium,” WCNC reported.

Chromium’s “most toxic form,” an Associated Press investigative story reads.

WFAE’s Ben Bradford joined All Things Considered host Mark Rumsey to discuss problems with these reports.


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Local News
5:50 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

NC Senate Considers Coal Ash As Regulators Find More Leaks

The Dan River coal ash pond spilled at least 30,000 tons of ash in February.
Credit Duke Energy

The state has cited Duke for 11 leaks at the Riverbend, Allen, Marshall, Cliffside, and Buck plants. Bridget Munger, spokeswoman for the state Division of Dam Safety, says they range in size and significance.


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Charlotte Talks
9:00 am
Tue June 3, 2014

A Conversation With Duke Energy

Aerial view of the retired Dan River Steam Station and ash basins.
Duke Energy Flickr/https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

We haven’t had the chance to sit down with Duke Energy since that unfortunate coal ash spill – where more than 30,000 cubic yards of coal ash were dumped into the Dan River. Duke and the EPA recently reached a deal for the clean-up. And Duke just released their 2013 sustainability report. We’ll be joined by two of their environmental executives.

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Local News
9:57 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Dan River Update: A Fraction Of Ash Removed

A plume of coal ash flowing into the Dan River, after the failure of a Duke coal ash pond in February.
Credit Appalachian Voices

The Environmental Protection Agency announced it has struck an agreement with Duke Energy to clean up coal ash from the Dan River. The EPA has been overseeing the company’s response, since a storage pond failed at a Duke coal plant in February, spilling at least 30,000 tons of the waste into the river. But the agreement binds Duke to clean up ash as the EPA directs and to reimburse the agency for its costs. EPA officials say that comes to about $800,000 for the past three-plus months of clean-up.


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Local News
4:45 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

Airport Or No, Duke Will Remove Riverbend Coal Ash

The primary coal ash pond at Riverbend. The grey bed in the foreground is coal ash.
Credit Ben Bradford / WFAE

Duke Energy officials confirm the company will remove coal ash at the Riverbend power plant above Mountain Island Lake, even though the company’s proposal to send the ash to Charlotte airport is encountering resistance. 

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Local News
6:45 am
Wed May 14, 2014

Teacher Pay, Coal Ash, Film Incentives On General Assembly Docket

Lawmakers will return to the state capitol in Raleigh for the General Assembly's short session.
Credit Jim Bowen / Flickr

Lawmakers are back in Raleigh today for the start of the General Assembly’s short session. And they’re not letting the short time frame keep them from tackling major changes. Republican leaders are considering more tax cuts, how to boost teacher pay, handle coal ash, whether to continue incentives for film, and much more. WFAE’s Lisa Miller and Ben Bradford joined Morning Edition host Kevin Kniestedt to discuss what to expect. 


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Charlotte Observer
5:18 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

Charlotte Douglas Doesn't Want Coal Ash Under Runway

A airplane lands at Asheville Regional Airport, to the right is the Duke Energy Asheville Plant, below is the ash fill project under construction at Asheville Regional Airport on March 27, 2014. Airplane hangars and taxi ways will be built at this area of the airport in the future.
Credit Robert Lahser / Charlotte Observer

Charlotte Douglas International Airport doesn’t want coal ash from a Duke Energy power plant buried under a planned new runway or other airport infrastructure, dealing a potential blow to a proposal that would move millions of tons of ash from Mountain Island Lake to the airport.

Interim Aviation Director Brent Cagle said there’s uncertainty about how coal ash would work as a fill material under a runway, where it could be subjected to the pounding of hundreds of jets a day at Charlotte Douglas, the sixth-busiest airport in the world.

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