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CRF Voices Opposition to Coal Ash Permits at Public Hearing

CRF Voices Opposition to Coal Ash Permits at Public Hearing

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Volunteers, Riverkeeper, others unanimously oppose inadequate permits for coal ash discharges on Lake Norman, Mountain Island Lake and Lake Wylie

CRF Voices Opposition to Coal Ash Permits at Public Hearing

2015 Coal Ash NPDES Permit Renewal Hearing in Lincolnton

For two hours on the evening of Wednesday, April 8, 2015, citizens provided five-minute oral comments on the National Pollutant Discharges Elimination System (NPDES) permits for three coal ash sites in a 29-mile span of the Catawba River. Of the 22 speakers, not one speaker supported either the permits or Duke Energy, despite multiple Duke employees in the 100-person audience.

Up for renewal are the discharge permits for Allen (Lake Wylie), Marshall (Lake Norman) and Riverbend (Mountain Island Lake). The permits do not monitor for enough nor often enough. They also don't place limits on many of the toxic elements for which they do monitor. And they try to 'paper over'  leaks (the seeps) from the coal ash ponds, making permissible what Duke for years hid and what is the source of the $102 million fine.

Among the speakers representing CRF and putting their personal angles on concerns with the permits:

  • Riverkeeper Sam Perkins spoke about the scientific inadequacies of the permits, especially in what constituents must be sampled and how often they are sampled
  • Lake Wylie Lakekeeper Dan Mullane, an avid fisherman who competes in major tournaments, voiced his concerns for the effects of selenium on fish (around North Carolina, selenium contamination has been very well documented to have decimated fish populations and caused deformities)
  • Mountain Island Lake Lakekeeper Chuck Myers, who was in healthcare for 30 years, noted the effects of unchecked contaminants on adults and especially children
  • MIL Covekeeper Kerry Hutton noted concern for the health of her grandchildren and for property values
  • Lake Norman Covekeepers Mike and Cynthia Jones expressed their concern over being able to safely eat the fish; Mike, himself a Certified Public Accountant and auditor for decades, stressed the need for independent auditing

Coal Ash Permit Public Hearing Speakers Collage Square

Just some of the many speakers asking DENR to reject the grossly inadequate permits for three coal ash sites on the Catawba River.

Multiple others -- both CRF members and nonmembers -- voiced their concerns, especially when coal ash loomed near their home and drinking water.

Attorneys from the Southern Environmental Law Center (representing CRF in our lawsuits) and Waterkeeper Alliance also spoke about the gross inadequacies of the permits.

Many CRF members and volunteers have already sent in written comments, which will be accepted through May 5th.

Please send in written comments!

  • Mail written comments to Wastewater Permitting, 1617 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, N.C. 27699-1617.
  • Email comments to with the subject line "Wastewater Permit Comments for Coal Ash Ponds."

For more information on the permits and how they fall short, visit this page.


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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.

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

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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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