Charlotte, N.C.-based Duke Energy has issued a press release that describes its recommended full excavation of an additional 12 coal ash basins in North Carolina. The material would be reused in lined structural fills or permanently disposed in lined landfills.
The press release noted that this announcement brings to 24 the total number of Carolinas basins Duke is prepared to close by removing ash from its current storage locations at each of its coal-powered electricity plants.
The release said that Duke is recommending excavation of five basins at the Cape Fear Plant (Moncure, N.C.), five basins at the H.F. Lee Plant (Goldsboro, N.C.), one basin at the W.H. Weatherspoon Plant (Lumberton, N.C.), and one inactive basin at the Cliffside Steam Station (Mooresboro, N.C.).
According to the release, the majority of the excavated ash will be relocated to lined structural fills in Chatham and Lee counties in North Carolina.
“We’re making strong progress to protect groundwater and close ash basins, delivering on our commitment to safe, sustainable, long-term solutions,” said Lynn Good, Duke Energy’s president and CEO.
The press release said that Duke is continuing to study the remaining 12 coal ash basins in North Carolina to identify ways to close those facilities, while minimizing overall environmental impact.
Based on engineering work completed to date, the remaining 12 basins could be candidates for a broader range of closure options, including an approach that consolidates the ash on site and caps it with a geomembrane liner.
The release said that Duke’s recommendations comply with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) recently published federal Coal Combustion Residual (CCR) regulations and North Carolina’s Coal Ash Management Act (CAMA).
The proposals are subject to public input and approval by the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the North Carolina Coal Ash Management Commission.