Coal Ash

Duke Energy Sued For 2014 Coal Ash Spill Environmental Harm

Jul 18, 2019
BEN BRADFORD / WFAE

RALEIGH -- The federal, North Carolina and Virginia governments want a judge to declare the country's largest electricity company liable for environmental damage from a leak five years ago that left miles of a river shared by the two states coated in hazardous coal ash.

Sutton Lake
Duke Energy

A toxic stew of coal ash has spilled repeatedly and apparently unnoticed from storage pits at a Wilmington power plant into an adjoining lake, according to a Duke University scientist who said Monday that flooding last September from Hurricane Florence was only the latest example.

North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein is asking the state Supreme Court to overturn a decision made by regulators last year to let Duke Energy charge ratepayers for coal ash cleanups.

dan river coal ash cleanup
David Boraks / WFAE

Updated 4:53 p.m.
Duke Energy filed appeals Friday of state environmental regulators' April orders to remove coal ash at six North Carolina plants that don't already have approved cleanup plans.

Trucks move coal ash at Duke's Marshall Steam Station on Lake Norman. The company plans to cover ash in place at the plant.
David Boraks / WFAE

Updated 11 a.m.
Duke Energy says it will file an appeal soon of state regulators' orders last week that it must excavate coal ash from six coal-fired power plants in North Carolina that don't already have approved closure plans.   

A mountain of coal ash has been reduced to the original ground level near Riverbend.
David Boraks / WFAE

Updated: 6:49 p.m.
The state Department of Environmental Quality has ordered Duke Energy to excavate coal ash from six remaining coal-fired power plants in North Carolina that don't already have closure plans. 

Residents held up signs naming the different heavy metals found in coal ash.
David Boraks / WFAE

People who live around a half-dozen of Duke Energy coal ash sites in North Carolina have expressed strong feelings over the past few weeks about how Duke should have to clean up the ash. They want the state to order Duke to remove it.

Amy Brown of Belmont urged regulators and Gov. Roy Cooper to require Duke Energy to remove coal ash from Allen Steam Station.
David Boraks / WFAE

More than 200 people came to a public meeting in Gaston County Tuesday night to let state environmental officials know how they feel about coal ash at the Allen Steam Station on Lake Wylie. Their main message to regulators and Governor Roy Cooper: They want the ash removed, here and across the state.

Coal ash belmont
Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation

Residents around some Duke Energy coal ash dumps have been urging North Carolina regulators this month to require Duke to dig up the ash and move it to new, lined landfills. The last in a series of public meetings is Tuesday night, this time focusing on the Allen Steam Station on Lake Wylie.

Barry Duckworth of Sherrills Ford spoke during a public meeting Thursday about coal ash at Duke Energy's Marshall Steam Station on Lake Norman.
David Boraks / WFAE

More than 500 people packed into a school gym in Catawba County Thursday night for a public meeting about how state regulators should require Duke Energy to clean up coal ash at nearby Marshall Steam Station.

It wasn't supposed to be a public hearing, but people demanded to be heard.

Duke Energy's Marshall Plant on Lake Norman has about 32 million tons of coal ash stored on site.
David Boraks / WFAE

The state Department of Environmental Quality has begun public meetings to discuss how coal ash should be cleaned up at six Duke Energy sites around the state. They include plants on Lake Norman and Lake Wylie.

Duke Energy's Marshall Plant on Lake Norman has about 32 million tons of coal ash stored on site.
David Boraks / WFAE

North Carolina regulators say Duke Energy does not have to dig up and move coal ash at seven current and former coal-fired power plants. The state Department of Environmental Quality said Duke has met requirements in the state's coal ash cleanup law to have the sites declared "low risk." 

The last section of Duke Energy's Buck Steam Station in Salisbury was imploded Friday.
Duke Energy

Duke Energy on Friday completed the demolition of the remaining section of the Buck Steam Station, on the Yadkin River near Salisbury. The demolition began Aug. 2 with the implosion of the plant’s oldest section.

A worker delivers bottled water to a home in Belmont, near Duke Energy's Allen coal plant. Duke will provide a permament drinking water supply to well owners by 2018.
David Boraks / WFAE

Three years after concerns emerged over coal ash seeping into groundwater, neighbors of 14 Duke Energy coal plants in North Carolina finally have new, permanent water supplies.

Despite the gray muck that fouled the Cape Fear River near a Wilmington power plant after Hurricane Florence, water tests so far show heavy metals contained in coal ash are within state standards, North Carolina environmental officials said Thursday.

  Floodwaters from the Cape Fear River surround Duke Energy’s gas-fired Sutton plant on Sept. 22, 2018.  About a foot of water entered the plant, which has been shut down.
Duke Energy

Initial water tests by Duke Energy have found above-normal levels of arsenic and heavy metals in the Cape Fear River, downstream from the flooded cooling lake at Duke's Sutton plant near Wilmington. But the company says it's not harming water quality.

Duke Energy

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 Energy imploded the oldest section of the retired Buck Steam Station coal fired power plant Thursday.
Duke Energy

With a series of explosions Thursday morning, Duke Energy demolished the oldest section of the Buck Steam Station, on the Yadkin River near Salisbury.

A mountain of coal ash has been reduced to the original ground level near Riverbend.
David Boraks / WFAE

A string of decisions by North Carolina regulators this year means electricity consumers could be seeing a multibillion-dollar bill to clean up mountains of waste Duke Energy created over decades burning coal to produce power.

Duke CEO Lynn Good (right) responded to a question about executive pay from Duke investor relations director Michael Callahan during Thursday's online only annual meeting.
Duke Energy

Duke Energy officials defended last year's big pay package for CEO Lynn Good during the company's online-only annual meeting Thursday afternoon.  Good got $21.4 million dollars in salary, bonuses, stock and other compensation - nearly double her pay two years before.

Pages