Duke's Cliffside Power Plant

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Duke is proposing to build a new coal-fired unit at its Cliffside Steam Station near the border of NC and SC. Although the proposed unit is located in the Broad River basin, the emissions from the powerplant would have a significant impact on the Catawba-Wateree River basin because the Catawba-Wateree River basin is downwind from the proposed unit.

The Catawba Riverkeeper® and other parties challenging the Cliffside Powerplant are continuing to wait for a judge to rule on motions to dismiss that were filed in September 2008 and argued before the judge in November 2008. The Riverkeeper’s® primary argument is that the proposed permit fails to include the stringent mercury controls required by the Clean Air Act. A ruling is anticipated any day.

Efforts to challenge the Cliffside plant and other coal-fired powerplants also have been proceeding. Federal courts and a growing list of state governors are taking action to stop new coal plants. One reason is that mining for coal has buried or polluted 1,200 miles of pristine headwater streams in the Appalachians, devastating communities that depend on them for clean water. Furthermore, the recent spill of ash sludge in Tennessee has prompted a closer look at the sludge ponds at hundreds of power plants across the nation, including three coal-fired powerplants on the Catawba River. The ash in these ponds contain potentially dangerous levels of hazardous materials including heavy metals such as arsenic, lead and mercury. Ironically, plants employing better air pollution controls tend to have the most toxic ash waste.

The Catawba Riverkeeper® is asking Duke Power to stop construction of the $2.4 billion Cliffside Plant until the courts can rule on whether the plant should be required to comply with the MACT requirements of the Clean Air Act. Duke’s own estimates show that there is no urgent need for the power. Duke now argues that there the new plant will meet the MACT requirements, but Duke continues to fight including the MACT limits in its air permit. Assuming that the facility will comply with the MACT limits, the Catawba Riverkeeper® is also asking Duke and the North Carolina regulators to include the MACT mercury limits in Duke’s air permit as an enforceable requirement.

Cliffside Powerplant Emissions

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Jan 25, 2017 NC Riverkeeper Report
From the perspectives of 12 NC Riverkeepers, this report discusses how multiple environmental issues pose challenges in the pursuit of clean, plentiful water. Whether you are in North Carolina or downstream in South Carolina, read this report about the state of environmental enforcement.
Dec 13, 2016 Community Foundation of Gaston County grants $5,000 to CRF for Riverkeeper Program
The Community Foundation will fund Catawba Riverkeeper's work in Gaston County.
Dec 12, 2016 A Successful Launch of our Water Education Program at Great Falls Elementary
Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation in partnership with 4-H Clemson Cooperative Extension successfully completed our pilot Education Outreach Program with 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students from Great Falls Elementary.
Sep 27, 2016 Lake Wateree Fall Cleanup a Sweeping Success
86 volunteers collected 5,490 pounds of trash from Lake Wateree
Jun 13, 2016 Dozens of Youth Reached in Water Education Outreach Program Pilot Lessons
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Click here to fill out a pollution report or to report water pollution to Catawba Riverkeeper by phone, call 1-888-679-9494 or 704-679-9494.  In addition, to informing your Riverkeeper, you should also report spills or contamination to federal, state and local environmental officials.

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Fish Advisories

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Fish consumption advisories have been issued throughout the Catawba-Wateree River basin.  Many of these advisories are the result of testing initiated by Catawba Riverkeeper and confirmed by state and local officials.  For a chart identifying fish types with the applicable advisories for the Charlotte area, click here.   For more information about the fish advisories, click here.

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