State officials announce comment period for proposed consent order

Friday, September 16, 2016 - 1:15pm

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. 

The consent order includes specific conditions to ensure that the utility properly monitors and samples existing seeps for compliance with water quality standards.  In addition, the consent order requires Duke to routinely inspect the Riverbend facility to proactively identify and evaluate any new seeps. Prior to 2013, and contrary to a 2010 federal Environmental Protection Agency directive to permit seeps from coal ash ponds, the environmental department did not did not require seeps to be included in Duke’s water permits and did not evaluate the impact of these seeps on water quality.   

The environmental department will accept comment on the proposed order until November 4, 2016.   

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