News | June 4, 2015

New map illustrates coal ash contamination of drinking water

More than 85% of drinking water wells tested near the 14 Duke Energy coal ash sites in North Carolina are contaminated and unsafe for cooking or drinking. A new interactive map details this contamination.

For decades, Duke Energy stored coal ash, a chemical-laden byproduct of burning coal for energy, in unlined leaking pits, often near waterways. Recent well testing reaffirmed the leaks and led the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources to issue “Do Not Drink” letters to the vast majority of homeowners whose wells were tested.

This new map illustrates the coal ash storage sites, locations of tested drinking wells, and test results. As more drinking water wells are tested or re-sampled and more results are known, the map will be updated.

Meanwhile, SELC and our partners will continue to push for coal ash to be moved to dry, lined storage away from waterways and groundwater.

SELC 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.

For an update on the latest coal ash news, read today's AP story on the need to retest several wells due to initial faulty testing.