DEQ issues approvals to accelerate coal ash cleanup

Monday, October 19, 2015 - 12:00 am

RALEIGH – State environmental officials have issued permit approvals that will allow coal ash to be moved away from water sources at multiple Duke Energy facilities and reused as structural fill. The structural fill permit is a requirement under the 2014 Coal Ash Management Act, or CAMA, a law based on Governor McCrory’s plan for addressing the long-ignored coal ash issue.

The N.C. Department of Environmental Quality, or DEQ, on Thursday issued the necessary approvals to begin operations at the Brickhaven site in Chatham County, which will allow Green Meadow LLC and Charah Inc., to begin receiving coal ash for the mine reclamation project in Moncure.

Detailed operations plans and construction quality assurance (CQA) documentations were received and approved by N.C. DEQs Division of Waste Management. Also received by the section was a revised water quality monitoring plan. The section has reviewed the documentation and approved commencement of structural fill operations with the following future requirements:

  • The Facility will be operated in accordance with the most recent approved Operations Plan (referenced above) DIN 25099 and Water Quality Monitoring Plan (referenced above) DIN 25116.
  • If the facility’s permit is either amended or modified these documents will be added to the list of approved documents within the updated permit.
  • Charah, Inc must submit construction quality assurance documentation for all future construction and receive the appropriate approvals before operating.

Under CAMA, permits were reviewed by the public and modified in response to public input. Ash removal is currently underway at Riverbend Steam Station and Asheville Power Station under DEQ’s direction.

Earlier this month, DEQ issued stormwater permits to allow coal ash removal at Duke Energy’s Dan River facility and Rogers Energy Complex.

Charah and Green Meadow plan to remove coal ash from several Duke Energy facilities for use as structural fill in the Brickhaven open-pit clay mine in Chatham County. Engineered, protective liners will be installed at the Brickhaven mine pits before the coal ash is deposited. The liners are designed to capture leachate and prevent coal ash contaminants from reaching groundwater.

DEQ is reviewing the necessary permits for a second structural fill operation at an open-pit clay mine in Lee County.

Copies of the approved documents are available at the links below, and DEQs press release is available here.

Subcell 1A Approval DIN25132.pdf
Revised Ops Plan DIN25099.pdf
FINAL_Approved_WQMP_DIN25116.pdf