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State officials find no evidence of impact on creek after Duke Energy discharge


The N.C. Department of Environmental Quality has not found visual evidence of impacts to surface water after heavy rains caused the release of coal ash and wastewater from an impoundment at a Duke Energy facility in Cleveland County.

Duke Energy notified state officials Tuesday morning about the discharge at the Rogers Energy Complex, formerly known as Cliffside Steam Station. A four-foot section of an earthen berm failed, causing coal ash to drain into a stormwater system that discharges into nearby Suck Creek. 

Duke Energy has notified state officials that at least 1,000 gallons of water came in contact with sediment and coal ash material and discharged from the stormwater basin.  No coal ash material was observed in the stormwater channel leading to the creek. Suck Creek is located about 1,000 feet from the stormwater outlet. 

The department has not seen visual evidence of a discharge of coal ash to surface waters at the Cliffside facility. State officials will continue to investigate the release and will take any necessary enforcement action.

DEQ is awaiting test results from water samples taken by the utility that will help determine what was contained in the discharge. Within five days, the utility must provide a written report with additional information about the incident. 

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