Coal Ash News and Media

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Duke: coal ash removal from NC rivers would cost $10B

The company's proposal is to remove coal ash stored at three power plants, but leave much of it at other sites covered with tarps and soil. By MICHAEL …

Winner of GOP primary for House District 94 faces no Democratic opposition

How can the state's rivers and lakes be better protected from coal ash and other pollutants? The spills that have occurred stem from decades-old …

Pipe section found in Dan River may aid coal ash spill inquiry

Duke Energy has found, submerged in the Dan River, what might be an important clue to explaining how and why a massive coal ash spill occurred …

Chris Fitzsimon: McCrory’s good at ‘mayor’ part of being state’s governor

Last week McCrory's office issued a press release outlining what was described as a comprehensive plan to deal with the coal ash crisis, the massive …

Duke Energy says cost of converting coal ash ponds could top $10B

RALEIGH, N.C. — It would cost as much as $10 billion and take as many as 30 years for Duke Energy to convert its handling of potentially toxic coal

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Pressure Mounts for Duke Energy Coal Ash Cleanup

A protest organized by Charlotte Environmental Action Group gathered outside Duke Energy’s headquarters on Feb. 6. Source: Charlotte Business Journal

A protest organized by Charlotte Environmental Action Group gathered outside Duke Energy’s headquarters on Feb. 6. Source: Charlotte Business Journal

Since the Dan River coal ash disaster began, North Carolina seems to have become the epicenter in the fight to clean up coal ash dumpsites. All eyes are on Duke Energy and state officials as clean water, public health and environmental justice advocates across the country follow the latest developments and press for strong, comprehensive clean-up to serve as a model for how the nation’s 1,425 coal ash dumps are handled.

A lot has happened since our last update on North Carolina’s coal ash fight, in the courts, the court of public opinion, at the NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources (NC DENR) and the General Assembly. While the call grows louder for Duke Energy to move their coal ash out of leaking impoundments and away from our rivers, lakes, and streams, the massive utility continues to resist actually making plans to clean up their toxic dumpsites across North Carolina.

Duke’s major shareholders are now joining environmentalists and concerned citizens in calling for action on ash. They are demanding an independent probe of the Dan River disaster and the immediate rejection of four members of Duke’s board of directors. According to the investors those directors  “have failed to fulfill their obligations of risk oversight as members of a committee overseeing health, safety, and environmental compliance at the company.” We couldn’t agree more.

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Latest Dan River Coal Ash Spill News

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NC Sides With Duke in Appeal of Coal Ash Ruling

April 8, 2014 (AP)
By Michael Biesecker/Associated Press


A Duke Energy crew works to dig out a broken stormwater pipe under a coal ash pond at the company’s Dan River plant. Source:

North Carolina regulators are joining with Duke Energy in appealing a judge’s ruling on cleaning up groundwater pollution leeching from the company’s coal ash dumps.

The state Environmental Management Commission filed notice Monday that it intends to appeal a March 6 ruling by Superior Court Judge Paul Ridgeway.

The commission and Duke contend North Carolina law does not give the state the authority to order an immediate cleanup. Ridgeway ruled the state had been misinterpreting the law for years.

Environmentalists say the decision to file an appeal directly conflicts with public statements from Gov. Pat McCrory suggesting his administration is getting tough with his former employer after a Feb. 2 coal ash spill that coated 70 miles of the Dan River in toxic gray sludge.

McCrory, a Republican, worked for Duke more than 28 years prior to retiring to run for governor. The nation’s largest electricity company and its employees have remained generous political supporters to McCrory’s campaign and GOP-aligned groups that support him, providing more than $1.1 million in support since 2008.


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Dan River Groups Seek Cleanup of Duke’s Coal Ash Pollution


Coal ash and contaminated wastewater have spilled into the Dan River from this 48-inch stormwater pipe and multiple other points.

March 20, 2014

CHAPEL HILL, N.C.—The Southern Environmental Law Center today filed motions to allow four conservation groups working on the Dan River to participate in the state court enforcement action against Duke Energy for its illegal coal ash pollution of the Dan River and groundwater drinking supplies. SELC filed the motion on behalf of groups that monitor and protect the Dan River– the Dan River Basin Association, the Roanoke River Basin Association, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, and Waterkeeper Alliance. They identified numerous illegal discharges ignored by the state in the aftermath of Duke’s disastrous coal ash spill last month.

“The tragic Dan River spill and the revelations of uncomfortably close ties between Duke Energy and DENR make it all the more important that citizens and local conservation groups have a seat at the table,” said Frank Holleman, the senior attorney at the Southern Environmental Law Center who represents the groups in court. “We will work to make sure that the Dan River is protected and that Duke Energy cleans up the Dan River site.”

The groups seek to stop and clean up unpermitted streams of contaminated surface water that have been discharging from the dikes of the Dan River coal ash lagoons since before the spill and are continuing today, as well as persistent groundwater pollution leaching from these unlined impoundments that documentation shows Duke Energy and the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources have known about since the early 1990s. The illegal discharges at Dan River include high levels of coal ash pollutants such as arsenic and lead.

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Picnic for the Dan River: Eden community rallies after coal ash spill for World Water Day

This Saturday's event will celebrate the many parts of the Dan River unaffected by the spill and call for swift clean up of impacted areas.

This Saturday’s event will celebrate the many parts of the Dan River unaffected by the spill and call for swift clean up of impacted areas.

March 20, 2014

Speakers, residents and clean water advocates will rally at Island Ford Landing in Eden on World Water Day, Saturday, March 22 from noon to 1:30 to celebrate the Dan River and all the rivers throughout the Dan River Basin, and call on Duke Energy to provide information on how it plans to clean up from last month’s coal ash spill at the Dan River power plant.

Last month, more than 39,000 tons of toxic coal ash and 24 million gallons of contaminated wastewater spilled from Duke Energy’s coal ash impoundments north of Eden, spurring significant public outcry to protect all of North Carolina’s rivers from this dangerous threat. The spill also created a stigma on the rivers here, said Jenny Edwards, program manager for the Dan River Basin Association.

“Recovery from this disaster includes changing the public perception that the entire Dan is toxic, because that’s just not the case,” Edwards said.

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