Not in our mountains

I recently became aware that the local Progress Energy power plant in Arden has two ponds for coal-ash storage that are not lined! Testing of the wells in the area indicate that pollution from these ponds is leaching into the groundwater, and likely making its way down to the nearby French Broad River.

I am also aware that the two ponds are considered “high hazard” by the EPA. This rating indicates that if one of the dams were to fail, the toxic contents would spill out, flood Interstate 26 and the river, and likely lead to loss of life. If our representatives in government want to protect us from a disastrous coal-ash spill like Tennessee Valley Authority’s in 2008, they will vote “no” on S-3512, a coal-ash bill that would permanently strip the EPA of the authority to regulate this toxic-waste stream.

Progress Energy and Duke Energy should take immediate action to ensure our (the residents of Asheville and the surrounding area) health and safety.

— Lisa McWherter

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