Judge won’t let state block coal ash clean up

Seven of Duke Energy's 14 coal ash storage sites in North Carolina will soon have court-ordered clean ups in place, requiring remediation comparable to the one above, underway in South Carolina. (© Hollis Bennett)

In a hearing yesterday, a judge agreed with SELC and partners to order the cleanup of seven coal ash sites in North Carolina, despite opposition by the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources to a court order for clean up at three of those sites. 

“With today’s ruling, the court is requiring the coal ash in half of North Carolina coal ash sites be removed from unlined pits to safer dry, lined storage away from waterways. This is a victory for these communities and rivers which will be guaranteed protection in the future from coal ash pollution,” said Senior Attorney Frank Holleman, who represented citizen groups in court.

Coal ash stores in unlined pits at Duke Energy’s coal ash sites at Asheville, Riverbend, Sutton, Dan River, Cape Fear, Lee, and Weatherspoon will be removed to dry, lined storage away from waterways under the proposed court order. 

SELC intends to continue pursuing similar clean up at the seven remaining sites.

The Southern Environmental Law Center represents the following citizens groups in court to clean up Duke Energy’s coal ash pollution from all 14 leaking Duke Energy sites across North Carolina: Appalachian Voices, Cape Fear Riverwatch, Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation, Dan River Basin Association, MountainTrue, Neuse Riverkeeper Foundation, Roanoke River Basin Association, Sierra Club, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, Waterkeeper Alliance, Winyah Rivers Foundation, and Yadkin Riverkeeper.


Read the Associated Press coverage of yesterday’s hearing here.

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