A publication of Appalachian Voices


A publication of Appalachian Voices

Inside Appalachian Voices

Push for N.C. Coal Ash Cleanup Enters Final Stages

Amy Adams

Amy Adams, Appalachian Voices’ N.C. Program Manager, rallies the crowd during the Allen Plant coal ash meeting in Belmont, N.C. Photo by Sam Kepple

Community members near six of Duke Energy’s North Carolina coal-fired plants turned out in droves to six meetings held by the state in January to determine the fate of the monopoly utility’s coal ash pits. We joined residents in sending a clear message to the state Department of Environmental Quality: excavating Duke’s coal ash and moving it to lined landfills away from water sources is the only viable option.

The communities around these six sites have suffered for years from exposure to the toxic heavy metals found in coal ash. At every meeting, the people voiced overwhelming support for excavating Duke’s coal ash and moving it to a lined landfill, while not a single person raised their hand in favor of capping the toxic waste in place.

Then on Feb. 2, Residents for Coal Ash Cleanup, the Belews Creek coal ash community organization, hosted representatives from Southern Environmental Law Center and Appalachian Voices to present information on Duke’s final closure plans and discuss community questions. The DEQ will be accepting public comments on Duke’s closure plans through Feb. 15 and is expected to complete its review by April, after which Duke is required to submit their final plan by Aug. 1.

For an in-depth look at the six meetings and to submit a public comment, visit the Appalachian Voices blog.