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NC issues permits for coal ash landfills in Chatham, Lee counties

NC issues permits for coal ash landfills in Chatham, Lee counties

Duke Energy cleared a major hurdle June 5, 2015, in its plan to bury toxic coal ash in permanent landfills with the issuance of state permits to operate the coal ash facilities in Lee and Chatham counties.

NC issues permits for coal ash landfills in Chatham, Lee counties

Coal ash at Riverbend Steam Station on Mtn Island Lake

Excerpt from The Charlotte Observer

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The N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources issued the permits June 5, 2015, to the landfill operator, Kentucky-based Charah and its local subsidiary Green Meadow, to begin construction of the fills.

Charah expects to proceed with construction and said it will start burying coal ash there in the fall. The ash will come from Charlotte-based Duke’s Riverbend Steam Station in Mount Holly and from the L.V. Sutton Steam Electric Plant in Wilmington, operated by Raleigh-based Duke Energy Progress.

The landfills will be built with plastic liners and leachate monitoring to detect and repair accidental leaks. The coal ash contains arsenic, lead, selenium and other heavy metals that pose a health risk to people and wildlife when they exceed safety limits set by environmental regulators.

Duke is currently storing more than 150 million tons of coal ash at 14 power plant sites in North Carolina, all of which are contaminating local groundwater, and some contamination has reached local drinking wells. The state legislature last year required Duke Energy to move ash from four sites that lawmakers deemed high-priority to lined landfills by August 2019.

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