State renews coal ash landfill permits at two Duke Energy facilities


State environmental officials renewed coal ash landfill permits at Duke Energy’s Roxboro and Marshall steam stations Tuesday.

One permit will enable Duke Energy to expand the current capacity at the Roxboro Steam Electric Plant’s lined landfill by changing the landfill’s side slopes. The permit will provide storage for about 2 million additional cubic yards of material. The five-year operating permit will not expand the footprint of the 91-acre landfill in Person County.

The second permit allows the utility to continue operating an 18-acre lined landfill at the Marshall Steam Station in Catawba County for an additional five years. Both landfills are permitted to handle coal ash and unused coal products. The permits require regular environmental monitoring and the maintenance of all existing buffers at the landfills.

Before issuing the solid waste permits for coal ash landfills, the state Department of Environmental Quality conducted environmental justice reviews to protect residents living near the proposed landfills. During its analysis, the agency did not identify any minority or low-income residents living near the proposed facilities who would’ve been disproportionately impacted by the facilities. The analyses were submitted for review to the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Civil Rights and the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.