Energy/Environment

Local News
1:25 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Duke Energy, State Officials Portray Coal Ash Removal As Lengthy, Costly

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

State regulators and Duke Energy officials poured cold water on proposals by environmental groups about what to do with more than 100 millions of tons of coal ash, describing total removal of the ash as lengthy and costly.


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Local News
12:37 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

McCrory Announces Plan To Address Coal Ash; Judge Says 'Now'

Duke Energy's Riverbend steam station sits on the bank of Mountain Island Lake near Charlotte.
Credit 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.


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Local News
3:02 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Factory-Built Nuclear Reactor Development Slows

The exterior of the Lynchburg, Virginia lab where Babcock and Wilcox is testing its prototype small modular reactor.
Credit Ben Bradford / WFAE

Charlotte-based Babcock and Wilcox received a big boost when the Energy Department agreed to be a partner in the company’s development of a new, small nuclear reactor. But the project has since hit some roadblocks.


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Local News
5:57 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Duke Energy Stops Tree Treatments After Customers Complain Of Poor Communication

A Rainbow Treecare worker injects Cambistat into the soil around a tree in Charlotte.
Credit Charlotte Observer

Duke Energy has been the subject of a lot of criticism lately, and it’s not all about coal ash.

For the past month, Duke had workers apply a chemical to the roots of trees near power lines in Charlotte’s Myers Park, Dilworth and Sedgefield neighborhoods. Needless to say, many residents were quite upset.

This week, Duke responded to those concerns by suspending the program. But Duke plans to restart the program after the company retools its outreach efforts.


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Environment
4:36 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Tega Cay City Council Votes To Purchase Troubled Utility Company

A photo of a sewer system overflow on January 11, 2014 from one of Tega Cay Water Service's manholes into Lake Wylie. On March 7, 48,500 gallons of sewage burst from two manholes and a wasterwater treatment plant into Lake Wylie.
Credit Courtesy of the Tega Cay Water Citizens Advisory Council

On Tuesday night, the Tega Cay city council voted to purchase private sewage-treatment plants that have been regularly polluting Lake Wylie in York County, South Carolina with raw sewage – and the price tag is nearly $6 million.


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Local News
6:52 am
Wed April 9, 2014

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

Coal ash separates from sediment scooped from the bed of the Dan River days after the spill.
Credit 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.


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Local News
9:10 am
Fri April 4, 2014

New Species Move To Mecklenburg

Credit JK Killia (left) Jim deVries (right) / 2014 Mecklenburg County State of the Environment Report

Mecklenburg County has some new residents. Animals not native to the county have moved in over the past couple of decades. One possible reason is climate change.


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Local News
10:02 am
Fri March 28, 2014

Duke Pushes Back Against State Environment Officials

A broken stormwater pipe spills coal ash into the Dan River the week of February 2nd.
Credit 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.


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Local News
9:33 am
Tue March 25, 2014

Charlotte City Council Considers Coal Ash At CLT

Councilman Al Austin (right) listens to a presentation by Charah president Charles Price and chief operating officer Scott Sewell.
Credit 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.


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Local News
7:24 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

State: Duke Pumped Coal Ash Water Into Cape Fear Tributary

An environmental group, the Waterkeeper Alliance, took aerial photos of Duke Energy pumping water from an ash pond into a tributary of the Cape Fear River (bottom left).
Credit 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.


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