State agency issues key permits for coal ash disposal at Wilmington facility

Friday, September 23, 2016 - 4:00pm

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.
“Under Governor McCrory’s guidance, we’re moving forward to ensure all coal ash in North Carolina is disposed of in a manner that’s safe, efficient, and protective of public health and the environment,” said Tom Reeder, assistant secretary for the state environmental agency. “These permits hold Duke Energy accountable for meeting numerous construction, operation and monitoring requirements throughout the life of the landfill.”
Duke Energy already obtained state approval for an erosion and sediment control plan for the site. 
The coal ash law requires Duke Energy to close coal ash ponds at Sutton and three other high-priority sites by Dec. 31, 2019. The company has started moving coal ash from unlined ponds at Sutton to a lined and permitted structural fill in Chatham County. Duke plans to continue moving ash to the Chatham County facility until construction of the lined landfill in Wilmington is completed and then send any remaining ash to the on-site landfill.
Before issuing solid waste permits for the proposed coal ash landfills, the environmental agency is conducting environmental justice reviews to protect residents living near the proposed sites. The agency has assessed whether there would be any disproportionate impacts to minority or low-income residents within a mile of the proposed facilities. At Sutton, the agency concluded that the proposed landfill would not cause disproportionate impacts to the surrounding community because no one lives within a mile of the site and much of the coal ash is already being transported away to Chatham County. The analysis for Sutton is at:
Copies of the isolated wetland and solid waste permits are at: