Coal Ash Problem Bigger than Previously Thought

As State officials return from the holidays and begin sifting through all of the information being generated about the coal ash ponds in North Carolina, it is becoming apparent that the problem is bigger than previously believed, and that very little is know about how whether the contamination from the ash ponds will affect drinking water wells or other water supplies.

Coal Ash Problem Bigger than Previously Thought

Wells around the Allen Steam Station

In his presentation to the Environmental Review Commission on December 10, 2014, Tom Reeder, Director of the N.C. Division of Water Resources, stated there was an additional 43,350,000 tons of coal stored out of ponds) beyond what had previously been reported (bringing the total to 151,239,000 tons of coal ash. Reeder said 108 million tons of ash is stored in ponds, but an additional 43 million tons stored outside of the ponds also will have to be covered or moved to lined landfills.  (Raleigh News & Observer.)

* * *

According to the N&O, Tom Reeder told the State Environmental Review Commission:

"We don't have the faintest idea what's going on underneath these coal ash ponds," ... "It's impossible to prioritize without this data."

* * *

[In December, the State planned to begin] sending postcards to the owners of wells within 1,000 feet of each basin's compliance boundary offering to have them tested. (A compliance boundary is the sphere around each basin where higher contamination levels must be contained.) If the owners consent, 335 wells would be tested, 15 of which are part of public water systems. Some are in or near residential subdivisions.

Duke Energy was also required to identify all the wells within 2,640 feet of each basin's compliance boundary, and it came up with 482 more wells. Some of those will be tested for a wide range of indicators of the presence of coal ash.

Many of the recently identified wells near coal ash disposal sites are near the Allen Steam Station on Lake Wylie or the Marshall Steam Station on Lake Norman, which have massive amounts of coal ash stored in a variety of impoundments.

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/12/10/4393637_tests-are-next-step-in-nc-coal.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy

Document Actions
Help Catawba Riverkeeper

Your River needs you as much as you need the River

Support Our River

Help in other ways

News
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
More news…
Report Pollution in the Catawba River

Help protect your River! 

Tell your Riverkeeper if you see:

  • Sewage Overflows
  • Failure to control sediment from construction sites
  • Illegal clearing of buffer areas
  • Fish kills 
  • Unpermitted discharges
  • Other issues that concern you

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.

To report South Carolina water pollution call 1-888-481-0125.

To report North Carolina spills or fish kills, call your local regional Department of Environment & Natural Resources office during normal business hours (704-663-1699 for most Catawba basin areas or (828) 296-4500 for Burke, Caldwell, McDowell and other mountain counties) or 800-858-0368 after hours.  (For more information on NC spill reporting, click here)

Alliances

The Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation is a proud member of EarthShare North Carolina, the North Carolina Conservation Network, River Network and the Waterkeeper Alliance.  It also in in an alliance with Clean Air Carolina to address issues, such as sprawl, that cause air and water problems.

Clean Air / Clean Water Alliance Logo

NC Conservation Network Logo

 

EarthShare of North Carolina Logo

 

4-H Clover leaf logo

 

River Network Logo

 

SC 4H Science on the Move logo

    

wka

 
Fish Advisories

fish consumption chart crop

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.

In This Section
 
715 N. Church St., Suite 120 . Charlotte, NC 28202 . Phone: 704.679.9494 . Fax: 704.679.9559