DEQ approves closure plan for Allen Steam Station under historic coal ash settlement

Raleigh

RALEIGH – After a thorough review and public participation process, the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has approved the closure plan detailing the excavation of coal ash impoundments at the Allen Steam Station located in Belmont. DEQ has determined that the closure plan meets the requirements of the Coal Ash Management Act (CAMA) and is protective of public health and the environment.

Under the Consent Order signed in February of 2020, Duke Energy is required to excavate more than 80 million tons of coal ash from open, unlined impoundments at several locations and place the excavated coal ash in onsite lined landfills. The approved closure plan for the Allen Steam Station outlines how nearly all of the coal ash will be excavated and moved to three, new onsite lined landfills. A small amount of ash will remain and be capped in place for the structural stability of transmission towers. The approved closure plan is consistent with the terms of the Consent Order.

The Department held a public hearing, provided the proposed closure plan for public comment, reviewed verbal and written public comments and analyzed site-specific information provided by Duke Energy and the public.

Under CAMA, Duke Energy was required to submit the proposed closure plans for 10 facilities by Dec. 31, 2019 for review and approval by DEQ staff. The Department approved closure plans for the Roxboro, Belews Creek, Buck, Cape Fear, H.F. Lee and Weatherspoon facilities on August 14, 2020 and for the Cliffside, Mayo and Marshall facilities on April 29, 2020.

The closure plan decision, hearing officer’s report, submitted comments and closure plan documents for the Allen Steam Station facility can be found online at: https://deq.nc.gov/news/key-issues/coal-ash-excavation.  

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