In accordance with the Coal Ash Management Act of 2014, or CAMA, the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) developed proposed classifications for all coal ash impoundments, including active and retired sites, for the purpose of closure based on the sites’ risks to the public, environment and natural resources.
Under CAMA, all Duke Energy coal ash impoundments in North Carolina are required to be closed. The deadlines for closure depend on the classification of each impoundment as low, intermediate or high. CAMA also required DEQ to make available to the public draft proposed classifications no later than Dec. 31, 2015. These draft proposed classifications released Dec. 31 were based on the information available to the department as of December 2015. The final proposed classifications were not made until the extensive public participation process outlined in CAMA concluded.
In March 2016, DEQ will conducted a public meeting in each county where a coal ash facility is located. The public was invited to attend these meetings to learn more about the background information and data that support the proposed impoundment classifications and provide comment to help inform the agency's final determinations. The public was encouraged to provide feedback on the draft proposed impoundment classifications. Public input and involvement remained a critical component of the classification process. A detailed list of public meetings can be found here
In May 2016, DEQ released final proposed classifications for all coal ash ponds in North Carolina. The classifications are based on the current risk of each pond’s impact on public health and the environment. However, work that is already either planned or underway could significantly change the risk posed by the ponds. The department press release can be found here
. The proposed classifications include the eight mandated as high priority under the law, and 25 classified by today’s action as intermediate.
For the draft proposal you can read the Executive Summary here
, the comprehensive report here
, and a map here
To watch DEQ Assistant Secretary Tom Reeder’s videotaped statement, click here
To read a Frequently Asked Questions document, click here
Meeting officer reports are available here
For the Final Proposed Classifications you may read the press release here
, and view a map of the final classifications here