Another Duke Energy coal ash spill discovered in the Neuse River

Waterkeeper Alliance and Sound Rivers have discovered a large coal ash spill into the Neuse River from the Duke Energy H.F. Lee facility, 10 miles upstream of Goldsboro, NC. A substantial but undetermined amount of coal ash was found floating on the surface of the river in a layer over one inch thick. The spill came from at least one of three inactive coal ash ponds...

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NC Toxicologist: Water Near Duke’s Dumps Not Safe to Drink

North Carolina’s top public health official acted unethically and possibly illegally by telling residents living near Duke Energy coal ash pits that their well water is safe to drink when it’s contaminated with a chemical known to cause cancer, a state toxicologist said in sworn testimony. The Associated Press obtained a full copy of the 220-page deposition...

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New North Carolina Bill Allows Duke Energy To Dodge Coal Ash Cleanup Again

While residents and environmentalists urge Duke Energy to clean up its coal ash pits, North Carolina’s biggest utility — and the governor’s former workplace — just got another pass from the legislature. Duke will likely not have to clean up seven of its unlined coal ash pits, where the byproduct of coal-fired power plants is stored. Instead, the company can opt to simply...

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Instead Of Cleaning Up Coal Ash Sites, North Carolina Legislators Want To ‘Bail Out’ Duke Energy

North Carolina’s biggest utility has 14 different coal ash storage sites in the state, and none of them are safe. That means the chemicals and heavy metals — including mercury and arsenic — in coal ash, a byproduct of burning coal for power generation, can leach into local water supplies. The safety issue was demonstrated in dramatic fashion a few years ago, when a coal...

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Duke Energy Fined $6.6 Million For Massive Coal Waste Spill

North Carolina environmental regulators fined Duke Energy $6.6 million this week for the company’s role in a 2014 coal ash spill that sent millions of gallons of contaminated water into the state’s Dan River. If you ask me, that isn’t nearly enough when you consider one study from 2015 estimated the ecological, recreational, aesthetic, and human health damages from...

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Duke Energy Drops Plan For Lines From Upstate SC To Asheville, NC

Duke Energy announced it’s controversial plan to build a 45-mile transmission line from Upstate South Carolina to Western North Carolina has been dropped in favor of building two smaller gas units in Asheville. The company announced November 4, 2015 that it will replace it’s coal plant in Asheville with two smaller gas units rather than building one large one. Duke...

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Enviros take NC settlement over Duke Energy coal ash pollution to court

The Southern Environmental Law Center filed a legal action this week on behalf of conservation groups seeking to overturn a controversial $7 million settlement between Duke Energy and the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality over the utility’s extensive coal ash pollution in the state. The settlement came after Duke appealed a groundwater pollution penalty at...

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Duke energy’s coal ash problems quietly spread

It’s no surprise that Duke Energy’s legendary coal ash problems don’t stop at the North Carolina border. As you may remember, Duke pleaded guilty to nine criminal violations of the federal Clean Water Act as a result of a massive coal ash spill in 2014 and mismanagement of dozens of ash ponds in North Carolina. Duke’s crimes landed the company a $102 million fine and...

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Court clears Duke Energy plan to clean more coal-ash pits

A judge has rejected a bid by North Carolina’s environment agency to block Duke Energy, the country’s largest energy company, from removing toxic coal ash from more plants than required under a new state law. Duke Energy has asked to add three power plants to the list of four plants where they will begin scooping the ash, which is leaking arsenic, lead and other...

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Duke plans to retire Asheville coal plant, replace with natural gas

Duke Energy Progress announced plans May 19, 2015 to shutter and eventually demolish its 51-year-old, coal-fired plant at Lake Julian, opting instead to rely on natural gas to meet a growing demand for electricity. If granted state approval, the natural gas facility could be online by 2020 and would be built on Duke property near the existing plant. That facility...

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Duke Energy fined $102 million for polluting rivers with coal ash

Duke Energy, the nation’s largest electrical utility, pleaded guilty in federal court May 14, 2015 to nine criminal violations of the Clean Water Act for polluting four major rivers for several years with toxic coal ash from five power plants in North Carolina. The $50.5-billion company was fined $102 million and placed on five years of probation for environmental...

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Duke’s Asheville coal plant exceeding safe sulfur dioxide levels

For the past several years, the Asheville Beyond Coal campaign has been speaking out publicly and building support for transition off of coal at Duke Energy’s Asheville coal plant. They have brought attention to the threat carbon emissions pose to our climate, as well as the coal ash pollution and its effects on our rivers and groundwater. What we now know is that in...

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Duke Energy pays for dodging coal ash problems

After Duke Energy reached a plea agreement over its mishandling of coal ash that spilled into the Dan River, Duke CEO Lynn Good said in a statement, “We are accountable for what happened at Dan River and have learned from this event.” What Duke Energy has learned is that it’s expensive to be cheap. The giant utility put off the cost of properly storing...

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Could Duke Energy’s coal ash be headed to a mine near you?

A Duke Energy contractor is seeking permission from North Carolina regulators to move millions of tons of coal ash from existing dumpsites at the utility giant’s power plants and place it in abandoned clay mines in Lee and Chatham counties. But should the plan win state approval over the objections of local governments, environmental advocates worry that it could...

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‘Thick Orange Gooey Stuff’ With Arsenic, Lead Found In River Near Duke Energy Power Plant

Contaminated waste from a retired coal plant in Rowan County, North Carolina, has been found leaking into a tributary of the second largest river in the state, environmental groups charged. The groups Waterkeeper Alliance, Southern Environmental Law Center, and the Yadkin Riverkeeper said they discovered extensive leaks of coal ash coming from Duke Energy’s Buck Power...

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NC orders Duke Energy to redo coal ash monitoring plans

North Carolina regulators have ordered Duke Energy to resubmit its proposal for assessing the extent of groundwater contamination leaking from 33 coal ash dumps across the state after deeming the company’s current plans “inadequate.” The N.C. Division of Water Resources has given Duke 30 days to resubmit the plans with a list of proposed changes. Duke...

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Feds override NC on draining coal ash dumps

Federal environmental officials spurred North Carolina regulators to reverse a policy allowing Duke Energy to drain massive amounts of polluted wastewater from its coal ash dumps directly into the state’s rivers and lakes, according to documents. The Southern Environmental Law Center released documents showing that the North Carolina Department of Environment and...

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NC moves to fine Duke Energy over coal ash pollution

North Carolina environmental officials are moving to fine Duke Energy over groundwater pollution leeching for years from a pair of coal ash dumps at a retired power plant outside Wilmington. The state Department of Environment and Natural Resources issued a notice of violation to Duke on Tuesday over the ongoing contamination at the L.V. Sutton Electric Plant in New...

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Would you let your kids swim in the Dan River?

It sounds like something out of a third grader’s standardized testing: “If 39,000 tons of coal ash spilled into the river and they got 3,000 tons out, how many tons are left in the river?” 36,000 tons. That’s how much coal ash (at minimum) is still in the Dan River after a massive spill from the Duke Energy coal plant in Eden, NC on Feb. 2, 2014....

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Critics Skeptical of Claim that Coal Ash Cleanup Is Finished

It’s the headline that has environmentalists and folks who live along the Dan River so fired up: “Duke Energy Completes Cleanup Work Along the Dan River.” In Rockingham County, they just don’t believe that, or they don’t understand it. “If you get out and go three inches deep in the sand, you’re in coal ash,” said Ben...

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Duke Energy ordered to test water near homes at Asheville, NC plant

North Carolina’s environmental agency has ordered Duke Energy to install monitoring wells in a residential neighborhood outside Asheville to determine whether toxic chemicals from the company’s coal ash pits are contaminating homeowners’ drinking water. During tests at five homes last fall, traces of thallium were detected in one of the drinking wells. Although below...

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Duke Energy Sued In North Carolina Over River-Polluting Coal Plants

An environmental group says it’s planning to use the federal Clean Water Act to sue Duke Energy over coal ash pollution at three plants along North Carolina rivers. The Southern Environmental Law Center on Jul 1, 2014 filed a notice of intent to sue Duke for violations at the company’s Cape Fear, Lee and Buck plants. The state Department of Environment and...

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Duke Energy Was Warned About Potential For Dan River Spill Decades Ago, Documents Show

Duke Energy was warned decades ago about the possibility for leaks from the coal ash pond that spilled into the Dan River earlier this year, according to documents summoned by a grand jury. As the News and Record reports, documents from the N.C. Utilities Commission show that reports from 1986 and 1992 point to potential weaknesses in a drainage pipe under an unlined...

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In NC hamlet, residents worry over coal ash ponds

The sweet tea served in the tidy kitchen of Joanne Thomas’ antebellum home comes with an ominous warning. “It’s made with bottled water,” says Thomas, a spry 71-year-old. “But the ice comes from our well.” For more than 80 years, the Thomas family has lived on a farm that abuts three open-air pits containing 6.1 million tons of ash...

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Duke Energy Directors Sued by Shareholders Over Coal Ash

Duke Energy Corp. shareholders accused the board of exposing the company to billions of dollars in liability by failing to clean up coal-ash ponds in North Carolina, setting up another legal challenge for the largest U.S. utility owner after a February spill in the state. Company officials have known for years that coal-ash ponds were seeping toxic chemicals into soil...

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Duke Energy to retire some coal-fired plants

Duke Energy agreed in a legal settlement to retire more than 1,600 megawatts of old coal-fired power plants, making enforceable the shutdown plans Duke had previously revealed. The settlement removes the last legal challenges to Duke’s newest N.C. coal-fired unit, at the Cliffside plant in Rutherford County about 60 miles west of Charlotte. The Environmental...

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Auger Hole Trail, Foothills Trail, and Canebrake Trail, Gorges State Park

Gorges State Park was developed as a unique partnership of industry, the environmental community and the state of North Carolina. In 1999 more than 10,000 acres of the Jocassee Gorges in Transylvania County were purchased by the state from Duke Energy Corporation. The transaction created a 2,900-acre Gameland managed by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, as well as...

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Coontree Loop to Bennett Gap, Pisgah National Forest

Coontree is a popular picnic area for familes along Davidson River in Pisgah National Forest, NC. What most of them probably don’t know though, is that there is a nice hiking trail just across Hwy. 276 from the parking area. It is very easy to get to, as it is only five miles from the crossroads in Brevard, NC. The trail itself is a loop with a connector at the top...

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