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Energy & Environment
Here are some of the other stories catching our attention.

DEQ Plans Hearings On Duke's Coal Ash Removal Plans At 10 Sites

Residents held up signs naming the different heavy metals found in coal ash.
David Boraks
Residents at a 2019 public hearing in Belmont held up signs naming the different heavy metals found in coal ash.

State environmental regulators will hold a series of public hearings in February on plans to excavate coal ash at six Duke Energy plants around the state, including plants on Lake Norman and Lake Wylie, and to recycle ash at four other sites. 

An agreement between regulators and Duke last month calls for removing 80 million tons of coal ash at the sites to new lined landfills. 

The Department of Environmental Quality says each of the hearings will include an introduction to the plans and Q&A, followed by public comments. The dates and locations are: 

  • Feb. 10, 6 p.m., Mayo Power Station Closure Plans, North End Elementary School, 378 Mill Creek Road, Roxboro.
  • Feb. 18, 6 p.m., Belews Creek Steam Station Closure Plans, Walnut Cove Elementary School gymnasium, 1211 Walnut Cove School Road, Walnut Cove. 
  • Feb. 19, 6 p.m., Roxboro Power Station Closure Plans, North Elementary School cafeteria, 260 Henderson Road, Roxboro
  • Feb. 25, 6 p.m., Cliffside Steam Station/Rogers Energy Complex Closure Plans, Chase High School cafeteria, 1603 Chase High Rd, Forest City
  • Feb. 26, 6 p.m., Marshall Steam Station Closure Plans, Maiden High School, 600 W. Main, Maiden. (Updated Feb. 19 to note change in location.) 
  • Feb. 27, 6 p.m., Allen Steam Station Closure Plans, Stuart Cramer High School gymnasium, 101 Lakewood Road, Belmont.

Four other hearings will seek comment on Duke's plans for digging up and recycling coal ash at four sites, including the former Buck Steam Station in Salisbury.

  • Feb. 11, 6 p.m., H.F. Lee Power Plant Closure Plans, Wayne Community College Hall C, 3000 Wayne Memorial Drive, Goldsboro
  • Feb. 12, 6 p.m., Cape Fear Power Plant Closure Plans, Chatham County Agriculture and Conference Center Auditorium, 1192 US-64 BUS, Pittsboro. 
  • Feb. 13, 6 p.m., Weatherspoon Power Plant Closure Plans, South Robeson Intermediate School gymnasium, 3268 S Robeson Rd, Rowland 
  • Feb. 24, 6 p.m., Buck Power Plant Closure Plans, North Rowan High School auditorium, 300 N. Whitehead Ave., Spencer

State law requires the DEQ to approve or reject the plans within four months. Once approved, Duke has 60 days to begin work.
Final closure of all the sites could take years. Duke has until 2030 to complete all the work, according to last month's settlement.