Public invited to offer comments on permit for landfill at Duke Energy plant in Eden


State officials are inviting people to a public hearing March 23 to provide feedback on the draft permit Duke Energy is seeking to construct and operate an industrial landfill to handle coal ash and other wastes at the utility’s Dan River Steam Station in Rockingham County.

The 6 p.m. hearing will be held in the Eden Room of the Eden Town Hall, 318 East Stadium Drive, Eden. Registration for speakers and people in attendance will start at 5 p.m.

Duke Energy is seeking a solid waste permit so the company can construct and operate a new, on-site industrial landfill at the Dan River facility. The draft permit seeks approval to store coal ash in the industrial landfill from any of Duke Energy’s facilities, as well as other waste types generated at the Dan River facility. The industrial landfill would cover about 23 acres and would include three cells with a total disposal capacity of about 2.1 million cubic yards of waste.

The draft solid waste permit seeks to ensure that coal ash is stored in a double-lined landfill away from surface water. The draft solid waste permit calls for the industrial landfill to be constructed with a system for collecting wastewater and requires routine monitoring to ensure the landfill is being properly maintained.

Duke Energy submitted a new permit application on Aug. 31, 2015. The state environmental agency determined that the application satisfied the requirements of North Carolina law and prepared the draft permit for public review.

The utility is in the process of decommissioning the Dan River facility. The Dan River facility is one of four facilities in North Carolina with coal ash impoundments classified by state law as high-risk, where ash from the impoundment is required to be excavated and the impoundment closed by Dec. 31, 2019. Duke Energy is currently moving coal ash from the facility to a lined landfill in Virginia. By law, the utility is required to produce a closure plan for the Dan River facility by Dec. 31, 2016.      

Gathering input at the hearing and during the comment period is an important part of the public process. Comments will be considered before a decision is made on the permit.

The public comment period on the draft permit started Feb. 17 and concludes at 5 p.m. April 17. People who wish to comment in writing on the proposed permit should submit those comments to: Mr. Edward Mussler, III, P.E., Division of Waste Management, Solid Waste Section, N.C. Department of Environmental Quality, 1646 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, N.C. 27699-1646.

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