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Bill to force cleanup of coal ash dumps founders / August 04, 2014
Legislative efforts to compel Duke Energy to close its coal ash lagoons in North Carolina foundered this week at the state capital in Raleigh, angering environmental groups and prompting North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory to issue an executive order calling for the enforcement of all applicable laws to force Duke to clean up the sites.

McCrory’s order, issued after the N.C. State Senate convened Friday without reaching agreement on a proposed plan to force the cleanup of 33 ash dumps operated by Duke Energy, drew scorn from environmentalists who said the action was window dressing aimed at distracting attention from the state’s unwillingness to crack down on Duke, the nation’s largest electric utility.

“It doesn’t seem to compel (the state) to do anything more than the law already requires,” said Donna Lisenby, global coal campaign coordinate for Waterkeeper Alliance, as quoted by the Associated Press. “Issuing this on a Friday afternoon, and implying it’s a major step to protect North Carolina’s waterways, is totally misleading.”

McCrory’s order calls on the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources to test for well water contamination in the vicinity of the coal ash sites, to halt any violations of the law and mandate cleanup plans for all facilities where contamination issues are found.

The governor, a former Duke Energy executive, has come under fire for his administration’s response to the February coal ash spill on the Dan River, at the site of the decommissioned Dan River Steam Station at Eden, N.C. Duke has volunteered to dig up and remove the Dan River ash dump, along with three other aged facilities in the state.

The lagoon breech at Eden caused an estimated 27 millions pounds of coal ash to flow into the Dan, fouling the river downstream in Danville, South Boston and Buggs Island Lake.

Among the 33 sites that the failed Senate bill targeted for cleanup were coal ash landfills next to the Hyco and Mayo rivers, upstream from Halifax County. The ash landfills are in use at two Duke Energy coal-fired plants in Person County, one at the border with Halifax County on U.S. Route 501, the other located in western Person near Semora, N.C.

Moments after the announcement of McCrory’s executive order Friday, Duke Energy President and CEO Lynn Good issued a prepared statement promising that Duke would “work constructively with regulators and lawmakers to advance an enhanced plan for the long-term management of coal ash in North Carolina.”

“Duke Energy’s top priority is the safe operation of our electric system and the well-being of the communities and customers we serve. We remain committed to doing the right thing on coal ash with storage solutions that protect the environment, including groundwater,” said Good in the statement.

“Our goal is to lead with a proactive, fact-based and scientific approach to this work, and we continue to advance the comprehensive plan we proposed last March. The work we’re doing now allows us to continue down the path toward permanent closure of our ash basins in North Carolina.”

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"Environmentalists' scorn" ??

This whole unfortunate mess, media has praised environmentalists' responses and quoted their talking points as holy scripture.

Media sheeple should realise that environmentalists, like every other special interest bloc with a lawyer, will embellish things IF NOT LIE OUTRIGHT to prove their points and drum up support for their causes. The more support they drum up, the more money they raise and the more their lawyers get paid. Look at the salaries some of these people draw- they may be non-profit, but people become comfortably wealthy working for these groups. Add in awards from lawsuits and you see these groups can be quite profitable indeed- and the deeper the pocket, the better.

I can unequivocally state that no one of my acquaintance in the power industry has EVER intentionally set out to harm the environment. They're your friends and neighbors trying to make a living and come home safely to their families every day.


"They" also happen to be judges, lawyers, and politicians that own Duke Energy stock. You are correct about one thing....


As I do. And hoping it will help carry me thru a comfortable retirement.

I'm guessing you weren't around when the Dan ran rainbow from Dan River Mills and other textile mills dumping their dye vats in it. Chemical dyes, no less. And the rio cleaned itself up. Given time, it will again- unless these damfool environmentalists force more dredging which will stir up no telling what from the bottom of that river. But I forget- it's not so much about cleaning up the river as it is the environmental groups getting a big cash settlement from a deep-pockets corporation.

As you say, follow the money.

I'm not anti-environment. I AM anti-opportunist/scam artist, which is what a lot of these enviro-nazis are.


You probably wouldn't be as comfortable if Duke was forced to clean up 33 ash sites. You might experience some diminishing returns for a while. But I don't guess that has anything to do with you taking the opportunity to defend Duke.


You give the "environmentalists" too much credit. How can they be expected to accomplish environmental cleanup when their employees have to be asked not to crap in the floor?

Maybe they think of their office hallways the way you think of a river. It doesn't matter if you sh*t in it, it'll clean itself up.


If the environmentalists get their way and force the cleanup of those 33 ash ponds, and scour my retirement in the process, I guess I'll become one of the 47%. A taker IOW, never mind I've worked, paid taxes and invested since age 15. Then you and your tax dollars can take care of me in my golden years.

You'd like that wouldn't you? smile

That's the trouble with environmentalists- they want to punish people who didn't have a damn thing to do with it, simply because they're associated with their target either thru employment or shareholding. All they see is a big punitive award that they'll get a cut of.

Crapper- I guess it all depends on whether EPA has moving water in its office halls. Even 3rd world toilets have water sluicing under the floors to carry away the waste.


I agree with you in part. "All they see is a big punitive award that they'll get a cut of." A big punitive award is completely unnecessary. I disagree with this "This whole unfortunate mess". I think negligent mess would better describe the situation. Perhaps a better motivation to have Duke prevent this from happening again would be to prosecute the plant manager criminally and imprison that individual. That would provide adequate motivation for other plant managers to monitor their ash ponds. That seems to be a common theme throughout this country now. No one is held accountable for responsibilities they are charged with. Just look at Obummer. And remember its a free country. Your poor investment choice is not my responsibility.


This started out as a school paper on environment issues, now it has turned into terror. This coal ash spills are very scary especially knowing that they do not have a solution for this. Where in the world would this stuff go, there is no solution so far as to where this stuff will be stored. That is so amazing.

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