Citizens Groups Ask Court to Order Cleanup
Chapel Hill, N.C. – Citizens groups today asked Wake County Superior Court to conclude litigation over seven of 14 sites where Duke Energy stores coal ash in unlined, leaking pits near rivers, lakes and drinking water reservoirs after the company proposed court orders to clean up those seven sites by removing the coal ash to safer dry, lined storage away from waterways. The seven sites that would be cleaned up under the proposed court order are Asheville, Riverbend, Sutton, Dan River, Cape Fear, Lee, and Weatherspoon. The proposed court orders would address the source of contamination for communities near and downstream from seven of the 14 Duke Energy coal ash sites in North Carolina.
The Southern Environmental Law Center filed a response to Duke Energy’s motion for partial summary judgment on behalf of the following citizen groups:, 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, and Winyah Rivers Foundation. Cleanup deadlines are already in place at four of the sites, and the citizens groups also seek firm deadlines in the proposed court order for completion of the coal ash removal at the three additional sites, Cape Fear, Lee, and Weatherspoon. The Southern Environmental Law Center also represents Appalachian Voices and the Yadkin Riverkeeper in the litigation.
DENR has not yet responded to the court filings.
While the proposed orders before the court would clean up seven of Duke Energy’s coal ash sites, other communities and families in North Carolina still need similar protections from seven other unlined, leaking coal ash sites that Duke Energy has across the state—Allen, Cliffside, Marshall, Buck, Belews Creek, Roxboro and Mayo. The citizens groups represented by the Southern Environmental Law Center will keep working to see that Duke Energy's remaining unlined, leaking coal ash sites are cleaned up in a way that protects our communities and clean water throughout North Carolina.
The Southern Environmental Law Center is a regional nonprofit using the power of the law to protect the health and environment of the Southeast (Virginia, Tennessee, North and South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama). Founded in 1986, SELC's team of almost 60 legal and policy experts represent more than 100 partner groups on issues of climate change and energy, air and water quality, forests, the coast and wetlands, transportation, and land use.