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Energy & Environment

Heavy Rains Cause Release Of Storm Water At Wilmington Coal Ash Landfill

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Duke Energy
Duke Energy's Sutton Plant

Duke Energy said rains from Hurricane Florence caused a release of storm water at the Sutton Power Plant in Wilmington. The company said some of that water “may have come into contact” with coal ash from a lined landfill at the site.

Duke said Saturday that the release involved about 2,000 cubic yards of soil, water, and coal ash — enough to fill two-thirds of an Olympic-sized pool. The company said because of the heavy rain, it’s difficult to determine how much of the contaminated water reached Sutton Lake — the cooling pond constructed to support plant operations.

Duke said most of the displaced coal ash at the Sutton plant in Wilmington was collected near the landfill, on plant property.

The company said it does not believe the incident poses a risk to public health or the environment. North Carolina’s Department of Environmental Quality says it will conduct a “thorough inspection” at the Sutton Plant, “as soon as it is safe to do so.”