Blog Archives

Coal Ash Storage and Cleanup Problems Continue Across the Southeast

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Across the Southeast, problems related to the cleanup and storage of coal ash continue to plague area residents.

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Could Concrete Help Get Coal Ash Out of Neighborhoods?

Coal ash stored at Duke Energy’s power plant in Asheville, N.C., was used as structural fill at the city’s airport. Photo © Copyright 2011 Roy Tennant, FreeLargePhotos.com

More than 150 million tons of coal ash are stored in impoundment ponds across North Carolina. Recycling the ash for use in concrete may provide a way to remove this toxic material from neighborhoods.

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Gov. Cooper nominates new environmental secretary

Michael Regan, who was appointed this week as secretary of the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality, pledged to increase transparency at the agency.

Gov. Roy Cooper has appointed Michael Regan as the next secretary of the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality. Regan pledged to develop greater transparency at the agency. That alone could signal a shift from the prior DEQ leadership’s approach to public engagement on environmental issues.

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Trouble is afoot in NC special session

North Carolina lawmakers have set about a brazen scheme to strip powers that McCrory enjoyed from the incoming Cooper administration.

After days of deflecting questions and refusing to explain their priorities for the “emergency session,” Republicans introduced a slew of bills that would make sweeping changes and dramatically shift the balance of power away from the governor. Take action to stop this blatant abuse of power.

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Coal Ash Cleanup News in North Carolina and Georgia

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Across the Southeast, communities near coal ash impoundments continue to face challenges in getting these facilities cleaned up.

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Coal Ash Water Pollution Permit Disputed

On Nov. 15, Appalachian Voices’ North Carolina team attended a wastewater permit hearing for the Belews Creek Steam Station to help local community members push for stricter water pollution requirements.

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Hurricane Matthew flooding elevates coal ash concerns

More than a million tons of coal ash at Duke Energy's H.F. Lee plant along the Neuse River were submerged by flood waters after Hurricane Matthew. Photo on Flickr by Waterkeeper Alliance

Earlier this month, North Carolina was devastated by the impacts of Hurricane Matthew. Flooding occurred across much of the state, with the hardest impacts felt in the east and among communities that are least able to bounce back from such a catastrophic event. While the flood waters are still receding, we are learning about the impacts left in their wake.

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Across the Years: Updates from the Archives

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In honor of our 20th anniversary, we looked through The Appalachian Voice archives to identify important topics that we’ve covered over the years and provide updates on where these issues stand today.

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Cleaning Up A Mess: Coal Ash Across Appalachia

Annette and William Gibbs live in Perry County, Ala., near a landfill that now contains four million tons of coal ash from the 2008 Kingston spill. Photo by Chris Jordan-Bloch / Earthjustice

Appalachian states are burdened by millions of tons of toxic coal ash. Without firm federal standards, it’s up to states to determine much of the cleanup process — and regional states are taking varying approaches.

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Rebukes, a resignation and more reasons to worry about coal ash in NC

North Carolina state epidemiologist Megan Davies resigned abruptly this week and accused high-ranking officials of deliberately misleading the public on drinking water safety. Photo from ncdhhs.gov

Where does the war of words over coal ash health advisories leave North Carolinians with contaminated drinking water? Exactly where they were before: as distrustful of DEQ and DHHS as they are of their water’s safety. But in the battle between state employees and the McCrory administration, residents are clear on who they trust.

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