2 million tons of coal ash removed from banks of Wateree River in S.C.

Spider lillies bloom in the Wateree River. (© William Graf)

Under a settlement agreement with SELC and the Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation, SCE&G reports that more than 2 million tons of coal ash and underlying soil have been removed from its coal ash lagoon on the banks of the Wateree River near Columbia, South Carolina. The coal ash lagoon was estimated to contain approximately 2.4 million tons of coal ash originally, and this report shows that the cleanup is over 75 percent complete. As the coal ash has been removed, arsenic contamination of groundwater has plummeted. Arsenic levels have dropped more than 90 percent since the settlement was reached in 2012 and extensive coal ash removal began.

“The progress at Wateree demonstrates that utilities can store their coal ash responsibly and protect our rivers and water resources,” said Senior Attorney Frank Holleman. “This section of the Wateree River is cleaner and safer than it has been in decades.”

All of South Carolina’s utilities are committed to remove all their coal ash from unlined riverside pits and move it to lined, dry storage or recycle it into cement and concrete.

Last week, in another SELC case, a federal judge ordered the Tennessee Valley Authority to follow the same process of excavating coal ash and moving it to dry, lined storage at its Gallatin plant, upriver from Nashville. The order is the first of its kind from a federal court.

More News

Final hearing on NEPA changes headed to court this month

SELC is preparing for a federal showdown on April 21 to determine the fate of the Trump administration’s gutting of the National Environmental Po...

How we’re working to ensure a safer Cape Fear River basin for N.C. communities

An agreement by state regulators with the City of Greensboro allows increased discharges of cancer-causing 1,4-dioxane into the drinking water so...

Historic rail deal finalized in Virginia

The Commonwealth of Virginia, CSX, Amtrak, and Virginia Railway Express have finalized a groundbreaking deal that marks a major milestone for cle...

Congressional bill helps communities facing environmental injustice

A bill to advance environmental justice was introduced in Congress earlier this month by U.S. Reps. Raúl Grijalva, Donald McEachin and U.S. Sen....

Concerned Memphians challenge Corps’ fast-track water permit for Byhalia Pipeline

SELC, filed suit late yesterday on behalf of Memphis Community Against Pollution (MCAP)*, Protect Our Aquifer, and the Sierra Club, against the U...

We’re representing Alabamians subjected to unjust solar charges

The Alabama Public Service Commission violated federal law by approving Alabama Power’s punitive charges against customers with on-site solar. Th...

More Stories