Coal Ash

While North Carolina is ramping up to close coal ash ponds around the state, removal is already underway in South Carolina, and—at one site—ahead of schedule.

South Carolina electric utility Santee Cooper entered a settlement with environmental groups in 2013, to get its coal ash—which can contain arsenic and lead—out of storage ponds near public waters.

New federal rules are out governing disposal of coal ash, but environmentalists aren’t too happy.  They’ve been calling for stricter controls for years on the ash, which is the byproduct of burning coal for electricity. The government acted after a series of spills: Six years ago, there was a massive spill of coal ash sludge in Tennessee. Three years later, tons of coal ash swept into Lake Michigan. Last February, another spill and gray sludge spewed into North Carolina’s Dan River. Environmentalists wanted coal ash to be treated as hazardous waste.

Coal Ash Update

Nov 18, 2014
Appalachian Voices

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014 

Coal ash is controversial and so is the North Carolina Coal Ash Commission. That body was sworn in last Friday, and in regards to who will pay for cleaning up Duke’s coal ash ponds, Chairman Michael Jacobs says everyone who uses power will share the expense. Meanwhile, Governor McCrory has joined two of his predecessors in suing the legislature over the makeup of the commission, and the state’s environmental watchdog has called Duke’s clean up protocols “inadequate.” We catch up on coal ash when Charlotte Talks. 

EPA Could Force Rethink Of NC Coal Ash Work

Nov 17, 2014
Appalachian Voices

North Carolina lawmakers, regulators, and media have spent nine months considering what to do about coal ash, but an upcoming federal rule could nullify much of the planned clean-up.


Duke Plans To Use Coal Ash To Fill Old Mines

Nov 13, 2014
Mark Rumsey / WFAE

Duke Energy has proposed moving millions of tons of coal ash from waste ponds and using it to fill in old mines. So far, the plan has drawn support from frequent adversaries of the utility.

Duke says it has the perfect place to put about three million tons of ash: in old clay mines in Moncure and Sanford, a few dozen miles southwest of Raleigh. Right now, they are just open pits says Duke Energy spokeswoman Jennifer Jabon.

Duke Energy Redoing First Step In Coal Ash Clean-Up

Nov 7, 2014
Ben Bradford / WFAE

North Carolina environmental regulators have ordered Duke Energy to redo the first step in the process of cleaning up its coal ash ponds around the state. The company has to measure contamination from the ponds, and state regulators say their plans to do so are inadequate.

Environmental Groups File More Coal Ash Lawsuits

Sep 3, 2014
Duke Energy

Environmental groups launched new lawsuits today against Duke Energy for pollution from the company’s coal ash ponds in North Carolina, adding more strands to a tangled web of litigation between Duke, environmental groups and state regulators.


NC Lawmakers Compromise On Plan For Duke Energy's Coal Ash Ponds

Aug 20, 2014
Riverkeeper Foundation

Top Republicans in the North Carolina General Assembly say they’ve agreed on a plan to manage Duke Energy’s coal ash ponds. The plan for Duke Energy's 33 ponds has been roughly six months in the making, but just weeks ago negotiations broke down between the senators and representatives who were writing it. 

Alexia Gyorody / WFAE

After negotiations between the state House and Senate broke down last night, Governor Pat McCrory issued an executive order about coal ash, stored by Duke Energy in ponds near waterways around the state.


News Director Greg Collard and reporters Ben Bradford and Tom Bullock (sitting in for Lisa Miller) discuss how lawmakers finally reached a budget deal. They also discuss the myriad of disputes that have dragged out and kept Tom and Ben up late at night, even prompting one of them to turn a WFAE studio into a bedroom of sorts.

Pages