Energy & Environment

News and information about energy, environment or both from Charlotte and the Carolinas. 

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Duke Energy has agreed to refund $1.3 million to other utilities for overcharges uncovered in a federal audit following its 2012 merger with Progress Energy.

Duke imploded its retired Sutton coal-fired plant in 2016.
Duke Energy

 

  With a series of small blasts, workers imploded Boiler No. 1 at Duke Energy’s Sutton plant in Wilmington on Sunday. In a video on Duke Energy’s website, the steel hulk creaks, then crashes to the ground, throwing up a cloud of dust and debris.

Duke Energy's now-closed Cape Fear Steam Station is one of three covered in the ruling. Duke Energy is planning to excavate coal ash from several ponds at the site, and transfer it to the nearby Brickhaven land fill.
Duke Energy

A superior court judge in Raleigh has ordered Duke Energy to remove coal ash from three plants in eastern North Carolina. The ruling comes in lawsuits filed by environmentalists in 2013. 

CharlotteNC.gov

Ever since lead contamination in Flint, Michigan’s water began grabbing headlines, people have started wondering about their own tap water.  Water systems around the country have tried to reassure customers it’s safe.  

Here in Mecklenburg County, Charlotte Water is increasing testing and adjusting water treatment as it responds to concerns about water quality.

State environmental officials are suing the federal EPA again, this time over North Carolina’s possible inclusion on a list of states that contribute to air quality problems in the Northeast.

David Boraks / WFAE

  More than 150 people showed up at a hearing in Hickory Tuesday night to express concern about the 30 million tons of coal ash stored at Duke Energy’s Marshall Steam Station, on Lake Norman. Thirty-two speakers quoted biblical passages, read poetry and urged state regulators to require Duke to transfer the ash to new, lined landfills, away from the lake.    

Amy Brown of Belmont lives near Duke's Allen Steam Station and has been receiving bottled water since 2015. She spoke at a rally in March.
David Boraks / WFAE

 

Hundreds of people crowded public hearings in Rowan and Gaston counties Tuesday night for a chance to tell regulators what they think of coal-ash ponds near their homes.  At Gaston College, more than 30 speakers raised concerns about the ash stored for the past 60 years next to Duke’s Allen Steam Station, in Belmont.  

Carbon Cycle Energy

Duke Energy has signed a deal to buy natural gas recycled from swine and poultry waste generated at a new plant eastern North Carolina. The contract helps Duke meet state renewable energy rules and could help solve the problem of what to do with the state's growing amount of animal waste. 

NC Department of Environmental Quality

Two public hearings Tuesday will help state regulators decide how and when Duke Energy must deal with coal ash at plants in Belmont and Salisbury. 

David Boraks / WFAE

  The state Coal Ash Management Commission has quietly closed up shop, after Governor Pat McCrory won a battle with lawmakers over its legality. The news comes as the state seeks comments on proposed ratings for Duke Energy’s coal ash sites - something the commission was supposed to oversee.  

Utility Services Corp.

 It takes a lot to keep a water system healthy. In Union County this month, public works employees have been cleaning the water mains using an unusual procedure called “ice pigging.” We went to see how it works. 

David Boraks / WFAE

A light installation that went up Friday night on an uptown building is more than a work of art. It’s a bit of science, too, visualizing the quality of the air we breathe. WFAE environmental reporter David Boraks went to see it.

David Boraks / WFAE

North Carolina environmental regulators have issued violation notices against Duke Energy for unauthorized wastewater leaks at 12 coal ash basins around the state. The sites include Allen Steam Station in Belmont, Marshall Steam Station on Lake Norman, and Buck Steam Station in Salisbury.

Hazardous Chemicals Found In Little Sugar Creek

Mar 2, 2016
Mecklenburg County

Mecklenburg county health officials are warning residents not to fish, bathe or drink water from a section of the Little Sugar Creek after tests found hazardous chemicals -- possibly from a nearby business. The warning covers an area of the creek between East 36th Street and Parkwood Avenue, and a tributary of the creek at East 27th and North Davidson Streets - near Cordelia Park.

Duke Energy

North Carolina regulators have given Duke Energy the go ahead to build two new gas-fired electricity generating units in Asheville. The $1 billion project will replace an existing coal-fired plant on the site, which Duke plans to retire.

The approval came over the objection of environmentalists who argued that Duke overstated the need for a new plant in the North Carolina mountains.

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