DENR posts groundwater assessment reports for three Duke Energy facilities

Friday, August 14, 2015 - 12:00am

RALEIGH - State environmental officials posted today groundwater assessment reports from Duke Energy for three facilities with coal ash ponds in eastern North Carolina.

The groundwater assessment reports for H.F. Lee Power Station in Goldsboro, Sutton Power Station in Wilmington and Weatherspoon Steam Electric Plant in Lumberton are an important step toward cleaning up coal ash as the reports will be used by the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources to prioritize the closure of the coal ash impoundments.

DENR is reviewing the comprehensive reports to determine the extent of groundwater contamination under the three facilities. By state law, the reports are required to describe all exceedances of state groundwater quality standards associated with the coal ash impoundments. Once the state environmental agency determines the report is accurate and complete, Duke Energy will have up to 180 days to submit a proposed Groundwater Corrective Action Plan to the department for its review and approval.

Governor Pat McCrory issued Executive Order 62 in August 2014, which set North Carolina on a path to address the safe cleanup of coal ash statewide and provided a framework for the comprehensive Coal Ash Management Act of 2014. Since the act became law, the state has worked rigorously to issue the permits necessary to safely remove coal ash and close all coal ash ponds. DENR has worked closely with the Environmental Protection Agency to comply with its new coal ash permitting requirements.

The groundwater assessment plans are available here: 

http://edocs.deq.nc.gov/WaterResources/Browse.aspx?startid=221202