Coal Ash

Mark Rumsey / WFAE

Two big developments occurred Wednesday in an ongoing fight over how North Carolina utilities store the leftover byproduct of coal. Governor Pat McCrory released a plan of action to stop the current storage in unlined ponds from leaking into state waterways. Then, a judge decreed clean-up efforts to stop those leaks must begin immediately, even as Duke Energy and a state committee appeal.


Regulators, Duke, Environmentalists In 3-Way Fight Over Coal Ash

Apr 9, 2014
Ben Bradford / WFAE

The failure of a Duke Energy coal ash pond two months ago not only spilled at least 30,000 tons of the waste into the Dan River, it spurred new scrutiny of how Duke handles the waste, what chemicals are flowing into North Carolina waters, and how the state oversees all of it. It has led to numerous revelations about leaks or cracks in other ponds, wastewater pumped into rivers, lawsuits, and federal investigations. WFAE’s Ben Bradford joined Morning Edition host Kevin Kniestedt to discuss the latest.


Duke Pushes Back Against State Environment Officials

Mar 28, 2014
Appalachian Voices

Duke Energy is denying accusations by regulators that it allows contaminated storm water to run unauthorized from its coal plants. It’s the first major pushback from Duke against state regulators after the Dan River spill—but not the last, the company says.


Charlotte City Council Considers Coal Ash At CLT

Mar 25, 2014
Ben Bradford / WFAE

Charlotte’s city council took its first look Monday night at a proposal to convert the toxic leftovers of burnt coal into a building material at Charlotte Douglas airport.


Welcome to the 10th edition of WFAE Talks, our weekly podcast in which WFAE News Director Greg Collard and reporters Lisa Miller and Ben Bradford discuss stories in the news and how they're covered. They also delve into general office banter.

This week, they discuss Duke Energy's continuing coal ash problems, an interpretation of state law that says charter schools don't have to reveal how much teachers are paid, and Central Piedmont Community College's decision to pull out of a federal loan program.


Waterkeeper Alliance

While a broken pipe was spilling at least 30,000 tons of coal ash into the Dan River, Duke crews were pumping coal ash wastewater into another river—the Cape Fear. Environmental officials accuse Duke of violating its permit and hiding information from regulators. Environmental groups blame the regulators.


Charah

Duke Energy says it will remove the coal ash controversially stored on the banks of Mountain Island Lake. That has long been a goal of environmental groups. After that announcement, Duke quickly offered a proposal to the City of Charlotte: use the ash at Charlotte-Douglas airport, as fill for land, for new runways, taxiways, and other projects. That proposal from Duke could be a cheap option for an airport whose calling card is its low cost.

Duke Energy

Duke Energy has announced plans to close many coal ash ponds across the state, including at the Riverbend Steam Station on Mountain Island Lake, after at least 30,000 tons of the toxic byproduct from burning coal spilled into the Dan River last month. City officials say Duke and another company have proposed that the airport use the ash.

Lawmakers Grilled On Response To Coal Ash Spill

Mar 11, 2014
Jeff Wilhelm / Charlotte Observer

A community meeting on coal ash stored at Mountain Island Lake turned into a grilling Monday of state legislators over their response to Duke Energy’s spill on the Dan River last month.

The group We Love Mountain Island Lake hosted the panel discussion including environmental advocates, Catawba Riverkeeper Sam Perkins, Gaston County Republican Rep. John Torbett and Mecklenburg Democrat Rep. Rodney Moore. About 75 people attended.

But as a line formed to ask questions, most were aimed at the two lawmakers. Their responses grew more pointed as the questions did.

Some May Not Get Power Back Until Wed.

Mar 9, 2014

Thousands of utility workers are in North Carolina this weekend, helping to restore electricity to about 191,000 customers still without power after Friday’s rain, wind and ice. But officials say it could be several more days until some people have their power back.

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