Thursday, June 25, 2015

Duke Energy to close 12 more North Carolina coal ash ponds

Duke Energy announced on Tuesday that it will close 12 more North Carolina coal ash ponds, meaning the company "now aims to excavate 24 of its 36 ponds in the Carolinas," Bruce Henderson reports for the Charlotte Observer. After a Duke spill last year dumped 82,000 tons of coal ash in the Dan River, a state law was passed requiring "testing of all drinking wells within 1,000 feet of Duke's coal ash dumps," The Associated Press reported in May. "A separate state law passed in the wake of the Dan River spill requires the company to move or cap all of its dumps by 2029." 

Frank Holleman of the Southern Environmental Law Center said "the dozen ponds in Eastern North Carolina that Duke identified Tuesday are 'heavy polluters and they’re in extremely dangerous locations,'” Henderson writes. But the 12 remaining ponds not yet charted for cleanup "hold more than 70 percent of the 108 million tons of ash held in North Carolina ponds."

"Duke wants much of that ash to stay near the power plants that produced it. Ash would be stored in lined landfills or kept in place in drained ponds with caps to keep out rain," Henderson writes.

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