Since the Dan River spill in February, Duke Energy has been under immense public pressure to clean up its toxic coal ash legacy without passing the cost on to their ratepayers. Rather than actually cleaning up its coal ash, however, the company is spending millions to clean up its image by launching a that claims, “We’ll do the right thing with our coal ash.” It’s what the “right thing” is that remains contentious.
This month residents and clean water advocates across North Carolina have stood together to demand that Duke Energy clean up its coal ash pollution. On May 1, Appalachian Voices joined hundreds to rally outside Duke’s annual shareholder meeting and a little more than a week later we helped host a community paddle and picnic day on Belews Lake, where the the largest and dirtiest coal plant in North Carolina is located.
Near the beginning of our new video, Stokes County, N.C., resident Annie Brown says, “I love to turn the switch on and have my lights just like anyone else, but at what cost?” It’s a question we should all ask of ourselves. But we also must direct our elected officials and electric providers to consider the question: at what cost do our outdated energy policies and practices come?
North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory’s poorly planned coal ash proposal is catching flak from environmental groups and legislators in his own party who already planned to push for reform during the upcoming legislative session.
Duke Energy recently appealed a ruling that gave North Carolina authority to force the company to immediately clean up its coal ash pollution across the state. But why would the N.C. Environmental Management Commission join Duke and also appeal the decision? The answer likely has to do with who sits on the commission and how they were appointed.
Duke Energy has appealed the March 6 ruling by a Wake County judge that it must take immediate action to end groundwater pollution from its coal ash ponds at its coal-fired power plants in North Carolina. The company also asked the N.C. Court of Appeals to stay the order until an appeal can be heard to avoid losing “years of planning” to improve how it handles coal ash.
Since the Dan River coal ash spill drew national attention to the threats coal ash poses to waterways, North Carolinians have come together to tell state regulators and elected officials that the risks associated with Duke Energy’s mismanaged and outdated coal ash ponds are unacceptable. Here is a round up of the ongoing news coverage of North Carolina’s coal ash problem in the wake of the spill.
We’ve watched national interest in North Carolina’s coal ash mess grow over the past month and a half, and it’s been a wild ride. The Dan River spill on Feb. 2 sparked a wave of support for closing the 33 ash ponds owned by Duke Energy polluting North Carolina’s surface and ground waters. Here are the most recent developments.
The Associated Press reported today that emails between N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources officials, the N.C. Department of Justice and lawyer for Duke Energy indicate how DENR coordinated closely with Duke after it blocked citizens groups from suing the company over coal ash pollution.
Regardless of the political environment in North Carolina, the Dan River spill was a major event and a reminder of the dangers of coal ash and the consequences of poor enforcement. But with the anti-regulatory renown of North Carolina’s lawmakers and state agencies, it has understandably created a firestorm in Raleigh and around the state of people demanding action that many believe is long overdue.