Environmental department evaluates minimal release of coal ash


RALEIGH – The state environmental department evaluated conditions at Duke Energy’s H.F. Lee facility on Saturday and determined that a minimal amount of coal ash – described as less than would fit in a pickup truck – was released from an inactive basin.

State dam safety and water quality experts inspected basins at the Wayne County site to evaluate any potential environmental impact. Flood waters around the basin have receded, allowing environmental officials to examine the site on foot. Flooding from Hurricane Matthew led to some erosion of the inactive basin but the structure remains intact.

The department has mandated that the H.F. Lee plant be fully excavated because it is located in the floodplain.

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