North Carolina regulators approve solar microgrid in Smokies

Duke Energy got the official go-ahead for a renewable energy project that’s drawing praise from some of its most frequent critics. The “microgrid” system, atop Mount Sterling in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, represents Duke’s latest, small foray into linking solar energy to battery storage – a combination that experts say is key for the expansion of renewable...

Learn More

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...

Learn More

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...

Learn More

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...

Learn More

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...

Learn More

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...

Learn More

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...

Learn More

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...

Learn More

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...

Learn More

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...

Learn More

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...

Learn More

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...

Learn More

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...

Learn More

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...

Learn More

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...

Learn More

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...

Learn More

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...

Learn More