Environmentally Speaking

RALEIGH – State environmental officials have issued key permits that allow Duke Energy to safely dispose of coal ash at its L.V. Sutton Energy Complex in Wilmington.   The state solid waste permit and isolated wetland permit issued last week give Duke Energy approval to start building a double-lined, industrial landfill at the Sutton facility. The on-site industrial landfill will be used to safely dispose of coal ash now stored in unlined ponds and other wastes generated at the Sutton facility.  

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Secretary Donald R. van der Vaart presented Thomas Slusser with a certificate this week for completing the department’s North Carolina Environmental Education Certification Program. This presentation was especially noteworthy, as Slusser is not an educator by profession but works in the DEQ Division of Waste Management's Pre-Regulatory Landfill Unit, which is a risk-based program that mitigates the health and environmental risks associated with old municipal landfills.

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State environmental officials announced that they will be accepting comment on a proposed consent order between the state environmental deparment and Duke Energy that imposes additional requirements and penalties for seeps from Duke Energy’s Riverbend facility located in Gaston County.  The proposed order, along with the facility’s water discharge permit issued earlier this year, will ensure both continued protection of the environment and ultimate closure of the facility. 

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Marine Patrol Officer Gene Maready was honored with a plaque in the shape of North Carolina and a certificate naming him Marine Fisheries Enforcement Officer of the Year at the Annual Governor’s Conservation Achievement Awards banquet Saturday. The Governor’s Conservation Achievement Awards, presented by the North Carolina Wildlife Federation, honor individuals, associations, businesses and others who have exhibited unwavering commitment to conservation in the state.

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DEQ Secretary Donald R. van der Vaart visited the North Carolina Arboretum recently to award Meghan Baker with a certificate for completing her North Carolina Environmental Education Certification. Baker is an extension agent with Buncombe County Cooperative Extension Service and provides educational outreach to small farmers, youth, and community members in Buncombe County through field-based workshops during the growing season and trainings in the winter.

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DEQ employee Elizabeth Werner has been highlighted by the N.C. Office of State Human Resources in their Compassion in Action series. Elizabeth volunteers in several different capacities, but focuses on delivering food to seniors through Meals on Wheels. Check out this video to watch the steps Elizabeth takes to volunteer with this program and why she does it: In case you missed it, read out blog about Elizabeth’s volunteer work, as well as that of DEQ employee Troy Harrison, who volunteers with Honduras Fountain of Life to teach English to young orphaned girls in Honduras. Click here.

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An electronic payment system started early in the McCrory administration saves customers time and money when they pay state environmental fees. The N.C. Department of Environmental Quality implemented an electronic payment option in 2013 to make it easier for municipalities, industries and other customers to pay permitting and other required fees.

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