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Public Comments Sought On Plans For Coal Ash Landfill In Belmont

Coal ash belmont
Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation
Duke has 19 million tons of coal ash stored in unlined pits at the Allen Steam Station in Belmont. It must move the ash to new lined landfills.

State environmental regulators will hold an online public hearing Tuesday on Duke Energy's plans for a new landfill to handle coal ash from the Allen Steam Station in Belmont.

Coal ash is the toxic residue left after burning coal. Right now, Duke has 19 million tons of coal ash in two open pits at the Allen plant.

Under an agreement last year with the state Department of Environmental Quality, Duke must dig up the ash and move it to new lined landfills. The deadline to do so is 2038.

The virtual public hearing Tuesday at 6 p.m. seeks comments on a draft permit for the first of three planned landfills. It will be about 25 acres and rise about 50 feet above Southpoint Road.

For more information about the coal ash closure plan and how to access Tuesday's hearing is on the DEQ website at https://deq.nc.gov/.

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David Boraks is a veteran journalist who covers climate change for WFAE. See more at www.wfae.org/climate-news. He also has covered housing and homelessness, energy and the environment, transportation and business.