News | July 23, 2015

Clean up of remaining unlined, leaking coal ash sites at 7 plants still sought in court

Citizens groups yesterday asked Wake County Superior Court to conclude litigation over seven of 14 plants where Duke Energy stores coal ash in unlined, leaking pits near rivers, lakes, and drinking water reservoirs. This move follows Duke Energy’s request for court orders to clean up those seven plants by removing the coal ash to safer dry, lined storage away from waterways.

The proposed court orders would address the source of contamination for communities near and downstream from half of the 14 Duke Energy plants with coal ash sites in North Carolina. The seven sites that would be cleaned up under the proposed court order are: Asheville; Riverbend; Sutton; Dan River; Cape Fear; Lee; and Weatherspoon.

Cleanup deadlines are already established at four of these plants, and the citizens groups want firm deadlines for the three additional ones – Cape Fear, Lee, and Weatherspoon.

The state Department of the Environment and Natural Resources, which is a plaintiff in the case, has not yet responded to the court filings.

While the proposed orders before the court would clean up half of Duke Energy’s North Carolina coal ash sites, other communities and families in the state still need similar protections. There are seven other Duke Energy plants with unlined, leaking coal ash storage in North Carolina: Allen; Cliffside; Marshall; Buck; Belews Creek; Roxboro; and Mayo. The citizens groups represented by the SELC will keep working to see that these sites are cleaned up in a way that protects our communities and clean water throughout North Carolina.

Our press release provides further detail on the filing and the groups represented by SELC.

Click here to read The Charlotte Observer’s reporting on the latest filing.