Press Release

North Carolina, Duke Energy reach historic settlement on coal ash cleanup

Citizens impacted by coal ash pollution in North Carolina are joined by Appalachian Voices and state lawmakers for a rally in January 2018

Today, the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality reached a settlement with Duke Energy to excavate nearly 80 million tons of coal ash at six of the utility’s coal-fired power plants in what the state described would be the largest coal ash cleanup in the nation’s history. The settlement is a result of a lawsuit filed by the nonprofit Southern Environmental Law Center on behalf of Appalachian Voices and numerous other environmental organizations.

Amy Adams, North Carolina Program Manager, Appalachian Voices:

“For the better part of a decade, these community members have given up time at work and time with their families, they have travelled over and over to give testimony about the impacts of living next to one of these massive coal ash impoundments. This agreement is a testament to their commitment and sacrifices over these past many years to protect their neighborhoods and the natural resources of the state.”

David Hairston, community leader in Walnut Cove (site of Duke Energy’s Belews Creek power plant with the largest single coal ash pond in North Carolina) and a member of Appalachian Voices Board of Directors:

“What a way to start a new year. It’s been a long fight to get to where we are today, and there are a lot of people to thank. Thanks to SELC, Appalachian Voices, Clean Water for NC, and the Riverkeepers, among countless others who stood by our communities for years, fighting alongside us to reach today’s agreement, and to DEQ for standing strong in demanding a true cleanup plan for all of North Carolina.”

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