Press release from the Southern Environmental Law Center
Statement on Proposed Consent Decree for Coal Ash Pollution at Two Duke Energy Facilities
ASHEVILLE, N.C.— The conservation groups that prompted state action on Duke Energy’s leaking coal ash lagoons are reviewing the terms of a proposed settlement released today between Duke Energy and the state. Duke Energy and N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources announced a proposed settlement in the state’s enforcement action over pollution from coal ash lagoons at the utility’s power plant in Asheville, NC, and at Duke’s Riverbend facility, along Mountain Island Lake near Charlotte.
The state filed suit in response to Notices of Intent, filed by the Southern Environmental Law Center, for Clean Water Act violations occurring at the Plant, on behalf of Sierra Club, Waterkeeper Alliance and Western North Carolina Alliance in regards to the Asheville facility and on behalf of the Catawba River Foundation in regards to the Riverbend facility. The groups are currently seeking to intervene in the state’s lawsuit.
The Asheville plant has two old coal ash lagoons, built in 1964 and 1982, that sprawl over 90 acres adjacent to the French Broad River and store millions of tons of harmful coal ash. The ash lagoons have been seeping for decades, according to public records, and groundwater around the lagoons is contaminated with pollutants including boron, manganese, thallium, and selenium.
Pursuant to federal requirements, the state must provide the public thirty days to comment on the proposed settlement.
About the Southern Environmental Law Center:
The Southern Environmental Law Center is a regional nonprofit using the power of the law to protect the health and environment of the Southeast (Virginia, Tennessee, North and South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama). Founded in 1986, SELC’s team of more than 60 legal and policy experts represent more than 100 partner groups on issues of climate change and energy, air and water quality, forests, the coast and wetlands, transportation, and land use.