Coal ash sinkhole expands in Mooresville, contaminating stream while legal dispute delays cleanup
For the past three years, a sinkhole in a Mooresville parking lot has released coal ash into a tributary of Lake Norman, in part because of a legal impasse about who is responsible — the property owners or Duke Energy — for repairing the damage. The cause, says a lawyer for the property owners, is […]
Coal plant operators shirking responsibilities on ash cleanup, report contends
Duke Energy facility in NC cited as among the worst contamination sites, but company pushes back In the wake of major coal ash spills from power plant containment ponds in Tennessee and into the Dan River along the North Carolina and Virginia border, the federal Environmental Protection Agency in 2015 laid out the first federal rules for managing the ash, one of the nation’s largest waste streams, and the toxins it contains.
Coal ash found in lake beds in North Carolina, contaminating waterways and fish with arsenic, selenium and other toxic elements
This story has been updated with quotes from Duke Energy. At least a half ton of coal ash is sitting on the bottom of five freshwater lakes in North Carolina, a new scientific study has found, highlighting the “legacy of inadequate storage,” of the toxic material in unlined pits. The persistence of the ash in […]
Monday numbers: Chapel Hill’s – and the planet’s – coal ash problem
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.
Monday numbers: Chapel Hill’s plan to build offices and housing atop a coal ash disposal site
In the 1960s and 1970s, when coal was still king, the UNC power plant in Chapel Hill generated millions of tons of ash, the byproduct of burning the fuel for energy. Some of that ash had to go somewhere, and that somewhere was 828 Martin Luther King Blvd. on the north side of town. In 1980, the town unknowingly built its police headquarters on that property. But not until 2013 did town officials realize that ash was present.
This week in pollution: Another violation for Winston Weaver fertilizer plant, plus meetings on proposed mine, coal ash
For environmental watchdogs, the new EPA notification service is better than birthday, Halloween celebrations combined. Even better than guessing the Wordle puzzle on the first try. The EPA a free ECHO Notify, and every Monday morning your inbox will ping with a list of all the violations and enforcement actions entered into the database by […]
Duke University scientists found a new way to trace coal ash in soil. (Spoiler alert: It’s found near Lake Norman)
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 […]
Environment 2020: A year of major wins, but also major losses
If it didn't create air pollution, I'd burn my 2020 calendar. A terrible, awful year, despite a few, albeit significant environmental wins. Climate change, of course, continued unabated. Otherwise, without a massive coal ash spill or major hurricane to capture the public's attention, the environmental losses were quieter, more piecemeal, albeit also significant...
Under court settlement, no coal ash for Colon mine in Lee County
Coal ash will not be disposed of in a former clay mine in Lee County, according to a settlement between three environmental groups, Charah, Inc., and the NC Department of Environmental Quality. After a five-year legal battle, Charah has agreed that it would not deposit ash in the Colon mine, five miles north of Sanford, in […]
Monday Numbers: There’s still 100 million tons of coal ash to be excavated from Duke Energy ponds
Millions of tons of coal ash have been excavated from unlined ponds at Duke Energy power plants, but an enormous amount has yet to be dug up, according to the inventory listed in the NC Department of Environmental Quality's annual coal ash report to the General Assembly.
Duke Energy says it will fully excavate coal ash from unlined ponds, but that won’t fix the legacy of contamination
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...
Former McCrory health director immersed in abortion rights controversy in Missouri
Randall Williams kept spreadsheet of Planned Parenthood patients’ menstrual cycles In case you missed it, former North Carolina State Health Director and one-time Raleigh mayoral candidate Randall Williams has become the subject of intense scrutiny and criticism in his current job as Missouri’s state health director. This is from the Kansas City Star: The Missouri […]