NEWS & MEDIA

  Halt to Further Excavation at Brickhaven and Colon Coal Ash Landfills
 
 
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 6, 2017
CONTACT
Therese Vick (919) 345-3673 therese.vick@g,ail.co
Court Rules for Communities on Duke Energy Coal Ash Landfills in Chatham and Lee Counties Superior Court Judge Carl Fox has issued a ruling which will halt any further excavation at the Brickhaven and  Colon coal ash landfills, owned by Charah, Inc. The ruling, issued March 31, 2017, states in part “…the two mine reclamation permits were issued improperly by the
Respondents [The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ)] and are hereby REVOKED.” The legal challenge was brought against permits issued by DEQ by Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (BREDL), Chatham Citizens Against Coal Ash Dump
(CCACAD) and EnvironmentalLEE (ELEE) in 2015.
 
Judy Hogan, president of Chatham Citizens Against Coal Ash Dump said that Judge Fox’s decision “gives me great pleasure in so many ways.” She continued, “We watched our comments at open hearings being ignored, the permits to do this being given rapidly, and the trucks running, then the trains- but we kept saying to our skeptics: It’s not a done deal!” ELEE
co-chair Marsha Ligon echoed Hogan, “Good things come to those who wait, we are thrilled that Judge Carl Fox ruled in our favor agreeing that the plans for future use of the Colon and
Brickhaven clay pits cannot be entirely considered an act of reclamation.”
BREDL organizer Therese Vick stressed that “not one more shovel of dirt should be moved at either site. The DEQ improperly issued the mining reclamation permits- and they knew it. Based on the evidence, Judge Fox agrees.
 
The DEQ is under new leadership. It is time for Secretary Michael Regan to right this injustice, and stop trying to defend the indefensible.”
With many clay mines across the state, the ruling has major implications for all communities. There has not been another permit application for coal ash being used as “mine reclamation” since Charah submitted their applications for the Lee and Chatham sites in November 2014.
 

After two years, North Carolinians now know the legal distinction between a mine and a landfill. That makes all the difference to residents of Chatham and Lee counties, where millions of tons of coal ash from Duke Energy are being stored in both abandoned mines and new, gigantic holes in the ground.

 

In a judicial order issued March 31, Chatham County Superior Court Judge Carl Fox ruled that the NC Department of Environmental Quality should revoke two of the four mine reclamation permits it had issued to the Charah/ Green Meadow company.

See More:

 

http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/2017/04/07/judge-fox-deq-acted-improperly-allowing-coal-ash-buried-unmined-land-chatham-county/

PITTSBORO — A judge ruled last week that digging must stop at coal ash storage sites in Chatham and Lee counties, an environmental group said.

The March 31 ruling by Judge Carl R. Fox in Chatham County Superior Court says permits allowing for mines at the two sites to be reclaimed through coal ash storage were improperly issued by the state Department of Environmental Quality, according to a statement released by the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League. The organization and two of its chapters — Chatham Citizens Against Coal Ash Dump and EnvironmentaLee — filed suit in 2015 challenging the permits.

 

Fox’s order revokes the permits, but allows for coal ash to be stored at the two sites in areas that have already been excavated.

See More:

 

 
 
 

A Chatham County Superior Court Judge has issued a ruling preventing Duke Energy – for the time being – from dumping additional coal ash at sites in Chatham and Lee counties, according to a press release from an area environmental advocacy group.

Therese Vick of the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League said the March 31 ruling by Judge Carl Fox is in response to the organization’s contention that Duke’s plans to dump coal ash in clay lined pits at sites in Colon and Brickhaven don’t constitute a “mine reclamation project,” as the utility company claims.

“It’s a big, big victory for the communities who fought this. There’s no question about that,” said Vick. “Some of these people testified at these hearings, they helped do research for us, they just didn’t give up.”

Fox’s ruling is limited to potential sites which haven’t yet been excavated, meaning coal ash could still potentially be dumped in any holes which have. But it states that mine reclamation permits were “issued improperly” by the state Department of Environmental Quality and ordered the permits revoked. The question of whether the proposed ash dump sites constitute mine reclamation projects goes back to early 2015, not long after Duke announced its plans (subscription required). A hearing in December 2015 went against BREDL, which was joined in the court action by EnvironmentalLEE and Chatham County Citizens Against Coal Ash Dump, although the environmental groups appealed that ruling to Superior Court.

Fox’s ruling came after an appeals hearing in November of last year. In December, the Charlotte Observer reported that Lee County would now serve only as a “contingency site” for coal ash storage.

See More:
 
 

Top aides to be questioned about coal ash well water warnings 

 

Ken Rudo made the point that he was under oath when he gave his depositions, and the Governor's staffers who criticized him and called him a liar were not under oath at their press conference. Well, now they soon will be....
 
"Top aides in the McCrory administration will have to testify under oath about a 2015 meeting on how to word do-not-drink warnings to well owners who live near Duke Energy coal ash ponds.
 
The Southern Environmental Law Center has served notices of depositions on Gov. Pat McCrory’s chief of staff, Thomas Stith, and his communications director, Josh Ellis. Discussions are underway with state health department attorneys to set a deposition date for that agency’s communications director, Kendra Gerlach, according to SELC spokeswoman Kathleen Sullivan."
 

http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/politics-columns-blogs/under-the-dome/article96046152.html

 

 

 

 

Scientists vs. McCrory administration

The state epidemiologist, Dr. Megan Davies, resigned from her position in protest after agency leaders attacked the state toxicologist’s testimony.

 

You can hear the powerful reason she stepped down here:

 

 

 

 

House minority leader calls for SBI probe of coal ash do-not-drink notices

 

Watch this video

 

 

http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article94394777.html

Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League
 
 
 

www.BREDL.org          4617 Pearl Rd Raleigh NC 27610      

 (919) 345-3673             therese.vick@gmail.com

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 5, 2016

 

Contact:

Therese Vick (919) 345-3673 therese.vick@gmail.com

 

Statement Regarding Elevated Hexavalent Chromium in Private Wells

 

This week a partial deposition of the state toxicologist for North Carolina was released. It described in detail Dr. Ken Rudo’s alarm at the unethical actions to suppress health-based information regarding the “do not drink” letters sent to communities near Duke Energy coal ash impoundments that were taken by political appointees at the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).  Following media reports of the deposition, Governor Pat McCrory has accused Dr. Rudo of dishonesty concerning his testimony about a meeting between Rudo, McCrory’s Communications Director Josh Ellis and other DHHS staff. While we cannot comment on that meeting, records show that surrogates for Governor McCrory brought pressure to bear on our state’s public health experts concerning hexavalent chromium.

            In February 2016, Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League submitted a public records request to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) regarding their analysis of the health risks from hexavalent chromium in private drinking water wells. The request was in response to the disinformation being shared about the health risks of hexavalent chromium in Lee County. This disinformation was also being shared with other communities, with local officials, legislators and the media.

After reviewing hundreds of emails several things are clear:

·         Although the Administration has tried to marginalize Dr. Rudo, health risk assessors, toxicologists and epidemiologists from both the Division of Waste Management (DWM) and DHHS reviewed hexavalent chromium and established the health risk level at 0.07 ug/l (ppb).  In fact, the DWM originally came up with the recommendation. Division directors and senior staff agreed that this level was appropriate.

·         DWM and DHHS arrived at the level using the newest, most accurate information on the health risks of hexavalent chromium, the methods approved by the US EPA, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), and North Carolina law. DHHS staff reached out to ATSDR, who agreed with the studies and methods used by DWM and DHHS risk assessors.

·         Dr. Rudo along with other DHHS staff strongly objected to changing the language of the letters sent to private well users concerning the health risks of drinking their water. A March 2015 email from Dr. Ken Rudo to Dr. Mina Sheehee states, “I cannot from an ethical and moral standpoint put my name on a form with this absolutely untrue human health statement, insofar as it pertains to chromium…” Another email from March 2015 shows that Sandy Mort, a health assessor on staff at the time with DHHS had similar concerns: “I too am not comfortable from a toxicological, health protective & transparency standpoint with the "MCL" statement added to the bottom of the CAMA groundwater data HRE form, specifically as it pertains to hexavalent chromium. I do not believe that it provides the well-user with the most appropriate information as it pertains to their potential exposure and health. I do not want to have my name included on the form as a reviewer or contact resource since this would imply I agreed with, or was comfortable with, the statement.”

·         There are numerous emails from DHHS management complimenting and congratulating DHHS staff for their professionalism and knowledge on this issue.

What is not clear is why Governor McCrory chose to insert himself in this issue. Whether it was done personally or through his appointees and staff; it is highly inappropriate and raises questions that must be answered.

 

Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League has requested additional records concerning this issue, which have started coming in. For copies of emails or interview requests please contact Therese Vick at therese.vick@gmail.com or (919) 345-3673.

 

ACT Against Coal Ash Expresses Outrage at HB 630 Rushed Passage

 
June 30, 2016

Contact:
 

Statement on House Bill 630 by communities facing coal ash dangers

Raleigh, and communities across NC—On Thursday, the Alliance of Carolinians Together (ACT) Against Coal Ash, a network of communities living with or threatened by toxic coal ash, expressed outrage at the rushed passage of House Bill 630, which they say is a betrayal of residents across NC. The alliance had sent an open letter to the General Assembly last week about their goals and unifying principles for safe coal ash solutions, and they say this bill fails to address many of their central concerns, while giving Duke Energy everything it wanted.
 
The House voted Thursday night 82 to 32 to concur with the Senate's version of the bill. Communities were disappointed that most legislators spoke about simplistic talking points they had been given and showed no understanding of groundwater contamination and other consequences of leaving coal ash just capped in place.
 
The bill comes at the tail end of the 2016 short session, after a previous bill on coal ash was vetoed by the Governor. Responding to overwhelming public comment against the ‘cap in place’ method of closure that would leave unlined ash in the ground to continue to threaten local groundwater, in May, DEQ ranked all of the company’s coal ash sites ‘intermediate’ or ‘high’ priority, meaning they would have to be excavated and moved to dry storage. House Bill 630 effectively negates those thousands of public comments, forcing DEQ to rank all but seven of the sites low priority if Duke provides alternate water to well users in the area and makes repairs to the impoundments. It also permanently eliminates the Coal Ash Commission which was originally created by the legislature to provide independent oversight of the agency’s decisions.

Amy Brown, a resident and mother to young children near Duke’s Allen Steam Station in Gaston County, says, “Everybody got what they wanted except the communities. The hearings were a lot of work, but we all showed up to participate in them because the state told us that was the way to be heard. Yet it’s clear they haven’t heard us. Senate leaders made this bill look like a pretty little package, saying that we are going to get clean water, dangling it like a carrot. But our community knows that we deserve clean water AND a full cleanup of the leaking coal ash pit in our backyard. We aren’t the violator of laws on probation that plead guilty – Duke Energy is. Why do they get the voice in this, and not affected residents?”

 
Deborah Graham of Dukeville, whose well water contains high levels of the carcinogen hexavalent chromium, takes issue with the promise of clean water in the bill. She says if Governor McCrory, DEQ, and legislators had truly wanted to protect well users near ash pits, they would have forced Duke to provide water long before. Graham also wonders about delays and potential loopholes in the language of the bill that would keep some people from having a safe water solution.
 
She says, “We have done everything our state asked of us: attended state hearings, made comments, made speeches, did our own research, waited while data came in, gave up our space for water inside and outside our homes. We've taken time away from our families to return phone calls, make speeches, help our neighbors, get additional water, travel to Raleigh, and travel to assist each other. We've spoken with our local people and leadership in Raleigh, dealing with all the confusion of letters coming from Raleigh giving us mixed messages about whether to drink our water, all while living on bottled water for over 14 months now. We have done our part!
 
Roger Hollis, a neighbor of the Cliffside plant in Cleveland County where ash basins were previously ranked intermediate priority, a ranking that Duke Energy had disputed in its comments, says “if they go through with putting in water lines to our community, that’s a great step in the right direction, but it’s a half a step, it’s not getting all the way there by cleaning up the ash.”
 
Bobby Jones of Down East Coal Ash Coalition in Goldsboro says, "Like so many other Americans, we are preparing for the Fourth of July. We know that Duke Energy is required by court order to clean up the coal ash at the H.F. Lee Plant. The plant that produced the coal ash which has been poisoning our community since 1951. While we are appreciative of that, we are saddened that other communities across the state will not have their coal ash cleaned up because of this bill. We are saddened because they are our neighbors. Saving the lives of our citizens should take precedence over politics, cooperate greed or a campaign donation. We pray that Governor McCrory will stop this harmful bill."
 
The bill also fails to address how Duke must dispose of the coal ash that the company does excavate, apart from a requirement for some of the ash to be beneficially reused. If legislators truly wanted to protect communities, they would ensure new coal ash storage sites are on Duke Energy property, so Duke maintains the liability, that they are above ground and completely isolated from ground and surface water, and retrievable so ash can be accessible for re-use when safe technologies are available.
 
Judy Hogan of Chatham County says, "Chatham Citizens Against Coal Ash Dump are very upset that the solution the legislature, governor, and Duke Energy are using is to move the toxic ash by train and truck across North Carolina, and siting it so close to the Cape Fear River, protected not all by plastic liners, which will leak. Plus, the old Cape Fear Ponds are leaking badly now, and should be classified high risk, no matter what.  They’re one of two of the worst in the country. We could have another Dan River event here.  Don't pass Bill 630. It solves nothing.  
 
Linda Jamison of Semora in Person County, who has coal ash in her backyard, says "I don’t feel that they care about us, not one bit. It’s all about money and not about human beings."
 
David Hairston of Residents for Coal Ash Cleanup (near the Belews Creek plant says "This bill does not help Belews Creek residents. While we may get water lines, we lose a commitment to real cleanup. Instead of protecting North Carolinians across the state, we get another sweetheart deal for Duke Energy to leave its ash in place where it will remain a threat to our community for decades to come." Caroline Armijo adds, "At Belews Creek, we already have a capped in place dry landfill that has created a 250 acre plume with arsenic levels of 108 parts per billion; it has been the subject of a lawsuit. Old streams run beneath the coal ash pond, hence the name Belews Creek. The groundwater pollution will not be resolved by capping in place, but only worsen with time."

###
 
Katie Hicks
Associate Director
Clean Water for North Carolina
828-251-1291 / 1-800-929-4480
katie@cwfnc.org
www.cwfnc.org
 

Coal Ash Pond Drainage Blamed For Arsenic In Mt. Island Lake | WFAE 

 

 

Duke Energy has stopped draining coal ash ponds into Mountain Island Lake after recent county tests found elevated levels of arsenic in the water. State environmental regulators say they’re investigating whether Duke violated state law.

The Riverbend Steam Station is in Mount Holly, on the Gaston County side of Mountain Island Lake. Duke has been draining coal ash ponds there since January, under a federal permit issued in 2011.

Mecklenburg County officials have been monitoring the discharges, which are upstream from public water supplies for Charlotte, Gastonia and Mount Holly.

On June 20, tests found an arsenic level of 95 parts per billion. That’s nearly 10 times the federal limit of 10 parts per billion, said Rusty Rozzelle, of Mecklenburg Storm Water Services.   

“This sampling was done 50 feet from the discharge pipe in the lake, but up in a cove. And we sampled at three locations downstream, and we didn't find any arsenic,” he said.

Rozzelle said more recent tests show arsenic has returned to previous levels. And he says levels were normal around drinking water intakes.  

“I think the main point, and this is a very important point, is that the water supplies are safe,” Rozzelle said.

Duke's own tests also spotted the problem, so the utility stopped the draining that same morning.

A spokeswoman said Duke won't resume draining the coal ash ponds until it finishes a wastewater treatment system in the coming weeks.

Coal ash is the residue left after burning coal. It contains toxic heavy metals such as arsenic and chromium. Sam Perkins, the Catawba Riverkeeper, said coal ash has been leaking at Duke plants for decades.

This is the first major problem he's seen since cleanup began at Riverbend:

“So this is a good learning case for why we need to have additional treatment and filtration for what's being discharged into waterways that are also serving as drinking water reservoirs,” Perkins said.

The state Department of Environmental Quality has dispatched its own team to collect water samples from Mountain Island Lake. A spokesman said Thursday regulators will evaluate that and the county data to decide if Duke is guilty of any violations.

Duke Energy wants environmental attorneys to stop releasing depositions in coal ash case


Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/politics-columns-blogs/under-the-dome/article90583887.html#storylink=cpy

 

 

http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/politics-columns-blogs/under-the-dome/article90583887.html

 

HIGHLIGHTS

 

Utility says Southern Environmental Law Center is mischaracterizing testimony

Why health officials rescinded their do-not-drink notices is the question

Public has a right to know whether state officials are protecting water supplies, attorneys say


Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/politics-columns-blogs/under-the-dome/article90583887.html#storylink=cpy

 

 

An Alliance for Climate Education Video From Sanford 

Judge questions 'beneficial use' of coal ash dump

 

RALEIGH, N.C. — A state judge on Monday questioned why environmental regulators granted permits for Duke Energy to dump coal ash from its power plants into open-pit clay mines in Chatham and Lee counties.

The state Department of Environmental Quality in June approved the sites to accept coal ash as "engineered structural fill." Duke started moving ash to the Brickhaven mine near Moncure in October and is expected to start dumping ash at the Colon site near Sanford next year.

Coal ash is the material left after coal is burned for fuel. While the bulk of it is inert, it does contain heavy metals and other toxins, including arsenic, chromium, selenium and mercury, that can harm fish, wildlife and people.

After a ruptured stormwater line under an ash pit in Eden dumped tons of sludge into the Dan River last year, lawmakers ordered Duke to close all of its ash pits statewide by 2029 and created a state commission to oversee the process.

"This is just one step of many over many years that will be taken to take care of the entire problem," Edward Mussler, solid waste permitting supervisor of DEQ's Division of Waste Management, said of burying ash in the clay mines.

Chatham Citizens Against Coal Ash Dump and Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League challenged the legality of the state permits, arguing that the clay mines are more akin to solid waste landfills than mine reclamation projects and should meet the stiffer design, construction and operational regulations of a landfill.

"It will affect the community with their wells and the property values," Sanford resident Keely Puricz said Monday. "Who wants to be living next to a five-story toxic dump? That’s what it is. Let’s call it what it is. It is a dump."

"We know that the people living near the site have seen these clouds of coal ash. When they dump it, there’s coal ash in the air," Moncure resident Judy Hogan said.

Administrative Law Judge Melissa Owens Lassiter said she needs more information on why the state granted permission for ash to be put in the mines as a "beneficial use," saying she wants to know what that benefit is expected to be.

DEQ officials said the ash will fill the mines, leveling the ground so it could be developed later. Officials also disputed environmentalists' claims that the ash would pollute the water and air nearby.

1

"It would provide a nice, open space. It is designed where somebody could build something on top of it," Mussler said.

The groups say that nothing can be built on top of the mines because of the need for lines to contain the ash and because of the grade of the sites above the surrounding land.

The hearing is expected to continue Tuesday, and there is no timetable for Lassister to issue a ruling in the case.

This article is sourced from WRAL

Moncure residents keep wary eye on truckloads of coal ash coming to town

MONCURE, N.C. — Duke Energy has started the process of dumping 12 million tons of coal ash into a former clay mine in Chatham County, much to the chagrin of nearby residents.

State lawmakers last year ordered the Charlotte-based utility to close all of the ash ponds at its coal-fired power plants across North Carolina by 2029. The company decided to excavate the toxin-laced ash from several of the basins and dump it in mines in Moncure and Sanford.

3

"We know it's wrong. It's a way of killing a community," Judy Hogan, who heads Chatham Citizens Against Coal Ash, said Wednesday. "They say it’s all fine, it’s not going to hurt us. They even talk about economic development. But we know better."

Ash is the residue left after coal is burned for energy. While much of it is inert, it contains heavy metals such as mercury and arsenic. Duke has kept the ash in unlined pits near its plants for decades, but a spill last year into the Dan River from ponds at a plant near Eden prompted the cleanup order and the creation of a state commission to oversee the process.

Duke spokesman Jeff Brooks said the Brickhaven mine in Moncure has been outfitted with multiple layers of natural and synthetic barriers to protect ground and surface water. Numerous monitoring wells are around the site to measure groundwater quality, he said.

That doesn't reassure longtime resident Helen Mason, who lives across the road from Brickhaven.

"I worry about my grandchildren and my great-grandchildren," said Mason, 89. "I’d rather it not come, but like I’m telling you, there’s not much we can do about it."

1Although the Chatham County Board of Commissioners passed a resolution opposing the coal ash coming to Moncure, the state law prohibits local governments from interfering with the ash disposal process. So, the Board of Commissioners worked out a deal for Duke to pay about $19 million to the county to monitor the impact of the ash at Brickhaven.

“We should know fairly quickly whether we have a problem being created," Commissioner Mike Cross said.

Cross said he's confident Duke is using the best technology available to seal the ash in the mine, and he noted about half of what will be dumped there will come from ash ponds at the nearby Cape Fear Plant.

"I have concerns. However, I think it’s better than having it where we have it now," he said. "If we have to do this, then I think this is the logical way to do it."

Brooks said a few trucks are delivering ash daily from the Riverbend Steam Station in Mount Holly, but that will increase to 20 to 40 trucks a day in a few weeks when ash will also be brought in from the L.V. Sutton Steam Electric Plant in Wilmington. Like the mine, the trucks are lined to prevent the ash from spreading, and GPS monitors ensure the vehicles stay on a pre-set route.

Eventually, he said, a rail spur to the mine will allow the ash to be brought in by train.

Local opponents aren't giving up the fight to stop the ash transfer to Brickhaven – or to a clay mine in neighboring Lee County that is expected to open in 2017. A lawsuit alleges that state regulators didn't properly issue permits to use the Moncure site as a dump.

"We don’t trust Duke, period," Hogan said.



This article is sourced from WRAL.  View the article and the video here 

ALERT!



FOUR WELLS AROUND COLON ROAD CONTAMINATED WITH CARCINOGEN
SANFORDLocal and state officials have advised residents not to drink or cook with water from four wells in the area of Color Road after finding elevated levels of hexavalent chromium, a carcinogen associated with respiratory irritation, kidney damage, liver damage and other health effects.

"We found elevated levels in a couple of the tests,"  Lee County Manager John Crumpton told The Herald Wednesday.  "The folks have been advised not to drink their water.  We'll have to look into it a little bit further and have the state do a little more research, but right now, the state's recommending [residents] put some type of filter on it." 

Gladys and Michael Reaves, of the 300 block of Birchard Road, had the highest level of hexavalent chromium at 3.92 micrograms per liter, or 56 times the allowable limit of 0.07 micrograms of hexavalent chromium per liter, according to the N.C. State Laboratory of Public Health.  A microgram is one millionth of a gram.

 

"They told us not to drink the water," Gladys said. "They said all we could do was bathe in it and wash clothes in it.  ... I'm really concerned because of my husband, what he's going through now.  He had cancer, and he's been through [chemotherapy] twice."

 

According to the U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration, hexavalent chromium is known to cause cancer.


"My husband was diagnosed last year," Gladys said.  "In the meantime, we didn't know anything about the water.  His mom and dad died from cancer, and they lived out here, too."

 

Crumpton said any discussion of what caused the elevated hexavalent chromium levels would be purely speculative.

 

"When [the Lee County Board of Commissioners} meets on Dec. 7, I'm going to discuss it with the board," Crumpton said.  "And I think we'll probably ask the state to come down and do an in-depth investigation, talk with these folks about what's been causing it.  We're not experts in that field.  The state is.  That's why they have the [N.C. Division of Environmental Quality] and in it, a Division of Water Quality."

 

Crumpton said local health officials tested 14 wells around Colon Road on Nov. 12 as part of baseline testing in preparation for receipt of up to 8 million tons of coal ash Duke Energy plans to store in the area starting in 2017.

 

The county still is waiting for the results from six of the 14 test, but in addition to Reaves's well, three others were found to contain more than 0.07 micrograms per liter of hexavalent chromium. 

 

A well on Hawkinberry Lane contained 0.42 micrograms per liter, a well on Old Colon Road contained 0.54 micrograms per liter and a well in the 100 block of Post Offic Road contained 0.08 micrograms per liter, just over the allowable limit.

 

"Obviously it's a public health issue," Crumpton said of the contamination.  "And the county and the state have responsibilities when it comes to this.  We're reviewing, figuring out what we need to do to help these people."

 

Article sourced from The Sanford Herald.

Chatham Co. residents want Duke's coal ash out, they say at public hearing

The message from residents at a public hearing Wednesday night was loud and clear:  keep Duke Energy's coal ash out of Chatham County.

The hearing was held to discuss a permit needed for Duke Energy's coal ash reuse project in the county, but it turned into much more than that.  Residents and a few activists came out to dole out a piece of their mind.

 Read More...

Groups challenge Duke Energy's plan to dump coal ash in clay mines

The Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, Chatham Citizens Against Coal Ash Dump and EnvironmentaLEE filed a petition July 6 for a contested case hearing in the North Carolina Office of Administrative Hearings.

The petition challenges the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources' approval of permits and permit modifications for two coal ash reuse projects in Lee and Chatham counties.  

Read more...

 

Our View: State falls short in addressing coal-ash fears

The state's part is the lead role, or at least it should be.  Our government leader and environmental officials shouldn't let the fears fester unnecessarily.  They should step up efforts with public meetings and clear documentation to keep residents informed and as safe as possible.  

Read more...

 

 

Science breaks new ground in converting coal ash from pollutant to useful products

Extensive studies have been carried out on fly ash disposal, management and re-use in South Africa.  This research has shown that the huge dumps of waste fly ash at power stations can be turned into value-added products.  This has the twin benefits of creating new and useful products while also reducing its harmful environmental effects.  Read more...

Chatham County officials have agreed not to oppose a coal ash landfill planned in their county in exchange for nearly $19 million from Duke Energy.

County officials voted 3-2 Monday to accept the payment from the Charlotte utility and said they will use the money for environmental monitoring and possibly for catastrophic insurance.  Read More...


Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/coal-ash-issue/article24670618.html#storylink=cpy

 

Ever since Duke Energy first foisted its coal ash storage plan on Lee and Chatham counties, its repeated assurances of environmental responsibility have rung hollow.  

And now, before an ounce of ash has arrived here, Duke’s affiliates already have racked up two infractions for activities at the Chatham County site

Read more...

 

 

...
The focus of the investigation is on DENR's relationship with the nation's largest public utility, Duke Energy.  Since the spill, environmental and watchdog groups have questioned Duke Energy's influence on DENR's regulatory actions.            Read more...

 

N.C. environmental regulators issued permits Friday to let Duke Energy use coal ash as structural fill at former clay mines in Lee and Chatham counties.

The N.C. Depatment of Environment and Natural Resources cleared Green Meadow LLC and its parent company, Charah Inc., to use coal ash from Duke as structural fill at the Colon Mind in Lee County and the Brickhaven Mine in Chatham County.

Read more...

 

 

"When I come out here my eyes begin to water," he told the Christian Broadcasting Network reporter.  "I can taste foul things, and I see dust that is coming from the dump."

Markish told the reporter he had cancer.  So did his wife.  He also lost four or five dogs to mouth cancer.

The dump Markish refers to is a site owned by Matt Canestrale Contracting, where coal ash, or "fly ash," is stored.  Coal ash is the fine powdery material that's left over after coal ash gets burned at power plants.  For years, Markish and other LaBelle residents have said the dump has made them sick.   Read more...

 

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NEWS

Groups file legal challenge to Duke Energy's coal ash dumping plans...  Read the press release.

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