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.

More News

Community and faith leaders shed light on Georgians’ energy burden

Nobody likes a sky-high electric bill. But in Georgia, where total monthly energy costs are the third highest nationwide, many families are consi...

Public Service Commission delivers major clean energy wins in Georgia

Georgia’s electric grid is getting a lot more solar following today’s final vote by the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) on Georgia Power’...

Lower Cape Fear River no longer to be classified as ‘swamp waters’

Fifteen miles of North Carolina’s lower Cape Fear River will no longer be classified as “swamp waters,” thanks to a successful petition by enviro...

Support floods in to bolster ruling invalidating 2 N.C. constitutional amendments

On Friday, the North Carolina NAACP, represented by SELC and Forward Justice, urged the North Carolina Court of Appeals to uphold the Wake County...

Carolinas object to seismic blasting

State agencies in North and South Carolina have found that seismic blasting proposed for the Atlantic Ocean is not in line with the states’ coast...

Cross-sector collaboration: Groups tackle climate change through transportation reform

As the leading source of greenhouse gas emissions nationwide—and a close second in North Carolina—transportation has a vital role to play in redu...

More Stories