State environmental department moving forward with coal ash cleanup

Thursday, October 27, 2016 - 9:45am

State environmental officials have issued a permit that is needed to safely close coal ash ponds in Rockingham county. The permit allows Duke Energy to safely remove water from its coal ash ponds at the Dan River Steam Station in Eden, a necessary step toward permanently closing the ponds.

“The permit issued today is a critical step for coal ash cleanup and protects the environment by requiring Duke Energy to meet all water quality standards,” said Tom Reeder, assistant secretary of the state environmental agency. “We will continue towards environmentally responsible closure of all coal ash ponds throughout North Carolina with strict oversight and regulation of closure activities.”

The state environmental department issued public notice, accepted public comment and held a public hearing in Eden about the permit.  The permit also was reviewed by the federal Environmental Protection Agency. The permit demonstrates this administration’s commitment to safe closure of all coal ash ponds in the state.

Removal of water from ash ponds is done under strict monitoring by state environmental officials and is an essential step in removing any threat coal ash may pose to the environment and public health. North Carolina's coal ash law requires that all Duke Energy coal ash impoundments be permanently closed. The coal ash impoundments at the Dan River facility must be excavated and closed by 2019. 

You may view the permit here.