More clean energy and less coal ash waste ahead for Asheville

Posted by Kara Dodson | October 24, 2013 at 2:50 pm


On back-to-back days this week, the Asheville City Council approved a clean energy resolution, and the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources ordered Duke Energy to provide drinking water to a family whose well water was contaminated by coal ash from Duke's Asheville Steam Station. Photo by the Sierra Club.

On back-to-back days this week, the Asheville City Council approved a clean energy resolution, and the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources ordered Duke Energy to provide drinking water to a family whose well water was contaminated by coal ash from Duke’s Asheville Steam Station. Photo by the Sierra Club.

Asheville, N.C., harbors a lively community that has united to push for clean energy and to put an end to Duke Energy’s polluting ways.

Two wins came this week for Asheville residents when the City Council voted to increase investments in clean energy and, the next day, the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources moved to protect a family’s drinking water from Duke’s toxic waste.

On Tuesday night, the City Council approved a resolution to build a partnership with Duke Energy to reduce carbon emissions by transiting from coal-fired energy to renewable energy and energy efficiency, and remediating coal ash pollution from Duke’s Asheville Steam Station.

Appalachian Voices congratulates the Western North Carolina Alliance and Asheville’s Beyond Coal campaign on this spectacular news. Without their vision and strategic work to present this resolution to the City Council, Asheville would be missing out on an opportunity to create clean energy jobs while securing a healthy environment.

The good news kept spreading on Wednesday to a family that lives between the Asheville coal plant’s waste ponds and the French Broad River. For months, this Duke Energy coal plant has been at the center of investigations into contamination seepages from the 90-acre coal ash pond into area groundwater and the well-loved French Broad. Now, the NC Department of Natural Resources and Environment has ordered Duke Energy to provide a safe, alternative drinking water source to the family whose private well tested positive for dangerous levels of iron and manganese.

Not only is this a positive enforcement of state and federal water laws to protect citizens from industrial pollution, it is also a step forward in the national fight to close dangerous coal ash impoundments.

Check back here for future news about coal ash in North Carolina, and if you’d like to support more wins like the ones this week, join our Red, White & Water campaign!

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