Avner Vengosh

Monday numbers: Chapel Hill’s – and the planet’s – coal ash problem

BY: - September 12, 2022

In the mid-20th century, Chapel Hill residents unknowingly strolled the streets in a miasma of coal ash. Until federal regulations required the UNC coal-fired power plant to install pollution controls, the ash carpeted the town, its residents -- and its residents' lungs -- in invisible particles. In addition, hundreds of thousands of tons of leftover fly ash was dumped, along with other trash, at what is now 828 Martin Luther King Blvd., the home of the Chapel Hill Police Department.

Duke University scientists found a new way to trace coal ash in soil. (Spoiler alert: It’s found near Lake Norman)

BY: - July 23, 2021

This story has been updated with comments from Duke Energy. Coal ash particles have been found in soil near two coal-fired power plants: Duke Energy’s Marshall Steam Station on Lake Norman near the Iredell-Catawba county line in North Carolina, and Bull Run Steam Plant, operated by the Tennessee Valley Authority, in Clayton, Tenn., scientists announced […]

Duke Energy says it will fully excavate coal ash from unlined ponds, but that won’t fix the legacy of contamination

BY: - February 10, 2020

Tonight is the first public meeting on historic closure plans of Duke Energy's unlined coal ash basins. The modern history of Duke Energy in North Carolina pivots on a single day: Feb. 2, 2014. On that Sunday afternoon, a pipe collapsed at the utility's coal-fired power plant in Eden...

Duke University scientist concludes Chromium 6 contamination widespread in NC, but not from Duke Energy

BY: - October 26, 2016

Even more North Carolina households than previously thought could be exposed to Chromium 6 in their drinking water, some of them at unsafe levels. However, the source of the contamination is not Duke Energy’s leaking coal ash ponds, but rather ancient volcanic rock leaching into aquifers. These scientific findings, in addition to being troubling for people on both public and private water systems, could influence […]