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Thanks for the Comments on the Proposed Sweetheart Coal Ash Settlement
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Thanks for the Comments on the Proposed Sweetheart Coal Ash Settlement

Duke Energy and DENR proposed a sweetheart settlement that would allow Duke to indefinitely postpone correcting ongoing illegal discharges and indefinitely postpone cleaning up contamination from coal ash waste ponds, and public comments on proposed settlement are almost unanimously opposed to the settlement. Now it is up to DENR and the court to determine if the proposed settlement should be modified or scrapped.

Thanks for the Comments on the Proposed Sweetheart Coal Ash Settlement

Riverbend Ash Waste Ponds on Mountain Island Lake. Photo by Nancy Pierce. Flight by Southwings.

Thousands say no to Duke Energy's coal-ash settlement

 
By Bruce Henderson
bhenderson@charlotteobserver.com
 

Public sentiment is heavily against a proposed settlement of coal-ash lawsuits filed by North Carolina environmental regulators against Duke Energy.

The state sought injunctions against Duke earlier this year for water contaminated by ash at its Riverbend power plant west of Charlotte and its Asheville plant.

In a settlement proposed in July, Duke agreed to assess the sources and extent of contamination and pay a $99,000 fine. A Wake County Superior Court judge will rule on the proposal once it’s presented in final form.

But the verdict is already in from the court of public opinion: No deal.

Virtually all the 4,939 comments filed before an Aug. 14 deadline opposed the settlement or urged the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources to hold a hearing on it.

“We are frankly dismayed and perplexed that DENR would support such an ineffectual and meaningless settlement,” wrote a Charlotte couple who live on Mountain Island Lake.

Added another lake resident: “Leaving the coal ash where it is simply invites a disaster for the health of all those who rely on Mountain Island Lake for drinking water, let alone the environmental impact and harm to the marine and plant life.”

 
You can view Catawba Riverkeeper Sam Perkins' comments at http://www.catawbariverkeeper.org/issues/coal-ash-1/variouscommentt2sided.pdf

 

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News
Apr 17, 2014 Governor Proposes Legislation That Allows Duke To Leave Coal Ash In Place
On Wednesday, April 16, 2014, Governor McCrory released draft legislation that purports to address North Carolina’s growing problem with toxic coal ash waste. The general public became aware of this issue after the February 2nd spill of 39,000 tons of the toxic sludge into North Carolina’s Dan River. Unfortunately, the Governor's proposal is not the type of legislation that is needed or that the public has been demanding.
Mar 27, 2014 'No Swim' Advisory: Sewage Spills Into Mountain Island Lake
Power outage leaves 73,000 gallons released without final treatment step.
Mar 11, 2014 'No Swim' Advisory: Sewage Spills Continue Into Lake Wylie
When it rains, Tega Cay Water Service still overflows, although sewer blockage responsible for overflow on March 11, which had no rain.
Mar 07, 2014 Judge Rules Duke Must Clean Up Coal Ash Ponds
CRF's lawsuits remain active but ruling will aid case. The court decision overrules an Environmental Management Commission denial of a petition by North Carolina Waterkeepers to require the State to enforce the groundwater standards against Duke. Duke Energy must take immediate action to eliminate the sources of groundwater contamination that are currently violating water quality standards at all 14 of its coal-fired power plants in North Carolina, including the three coal ash sites along a 29-mile span of the Catawba River around Charlotte.
Mar 03, 2014 Spring CRF Events Coming Up with Warm Weather
Paddles, Cleanups, Fundraisers, and Local Covekeeper/Water Watch Meetings Plentiful Now Through May
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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.

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)

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