The Latest News On The Coal Ash Spill in Eden, NC

Coal ash is the waste that remains when coal is burned. It is usually collected in a dump, known as a pond. North Carolina has more than 30 such sites in 14 different locations across the state. A pipe running under one of the ponds run by Duke Energy in Eden NC ruptured in February of 2014. The coal ash spilled, largely affecting the Dan River which flows into Virginia. The spill is the third largest of its kind in U.S. history.

Many see potential complications because North Carolina's governor, Pat McCrory, worked for Duke Energy for 28 years.

WUNC reporter Jeff Tiberii has been reporting on the story.

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Politics & Government
5:00 am
Mon June 9, 2014

NC General Assembly Stories We’re Following: Week Of Monday, June 9

North Carolina's Old State Capitol building.
Credit Flickr user Soggy6

The North Carolina General Assembly is entering its fourth full week in session, and the House of Representatives is expected to vote on the central task of the season: the state’s budget for the fiscal year starting July 1.

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Politics & Government
8:09 am
Fri June 6, 2014

As NC Senate Considers Coal Ash Clean Up Options, State Environment Officials Defend Their Own Plan

Gov. Pay McCrory is pressuring the state Senate to come up with a coal ash cleanup plan.
Credit Waterkeeper Alliance

Members of the North Carolina Senate took up the issue of coal ash clean up Thursday. They heard the first public presentation of how the governor wants to address possible contamination from coal ash ponds across the state.

But before we get into the governor’s plan, here's the story of Sherry Gobble and why coal ash might be a problem.

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The State of Things
10:01 am
Tue May 20, 2014

Triad News Update

The Dan River flows through Danville, VA 22 miles down stream from the site of a coal ash spill in Eden. Officials say treated water there remains safe to drink.
Credit Jeff Tiberii

WUNC Greensboro bureau chief Jeff Tiberii

    

Two Republican lawmakers introduced a bill to the North Carolina Senate last week to cut back on the threat of coal ash pollution in North Carolina. 

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Politics & Government
5:00 am
Thu May 15, 2014

What Does The NC Senate Want To Do About The State’s Toxic Coal Ash Ponds?

A 2012 photo of a 2008 coal ash spill in Tennessee.
Credit Appalachian Voices / via Creative Commons/Flickr

The first piece of legislation leaders of the North Carolina Senate introduced in this summer’s legislative session looks at Duke Energy’s 33 coal ash ponds across the state.

That means that on Wednesday, their first day in session this year, the senate’s Republican leadership sent a clear signal that it’s a priority for them to resolve the state’s issue of toxic coal ash dumps. What they didn't send was a clear picture of how they want to resolve it.

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The State of Things
11:39 am
Fri April 25, 2014

Friday Journalist Roundtable

Credit Appalachian Voices / via Creative Commons/Flickr

Duke Energy’s North Carolina CEO told lawmakers this week that addressing the disposal of coal ash at the 33 ponds across this state could take years. He said the proposal to move the waste to lined sites could cost up to 10 billion dollars. Environmentalists say the issue must be addressed immediately. Host Frank Stasio talks with a journalist roundtable about the latest on coal ash, other environmental issues and Moogfest. 

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Environment
10:50 am
Wed April 23, 2014

This Is How Much Money It Would Cost To Relocate Duke Energy’s 33 Coal Ash Dumps

A map of Duke Energy's 33 coal ash ponds and their operational status in 14 energy plants across the state.
Credit Duke Energy

Duke Energy told North Carolina law makers Tuesday that it would cost up to $10 billion and could take 30 years to remove all the company’s coal ash from areas near rivers and lakes across the state.  

In a hearing called specifically to address the coal ash basins, Duke’s North Carolina President Paul Newton told law makers the company needed flexibility to find faster and less costlier alternatives to ensure its ash won’t contaminate bodies of water.

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The State Of Things
3:42 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Environmental Issues Update: The Future of NC Coal Ash, Fracking, And Jordan Lake

A Marcellus Shale drill rig in Pennsylvania used in the fracking process.
Credit Ken Skipper, USGS

WUNC capitol reporter Jorge Valencia talks about North Carolina environmental legislation

    

    

The North Carolina Mining and Energy Commission has finalized their recommendations on fracking in the state to the General Assembly. Critics argue the commission needs more time as the health effects of fracking are unknown. In addition, the state commission tasked with deciding the methods of Jordan Lake clean-up remains undecided on next steps. And Governor McCrory proposes legislation to close or convert the state’s 33 coal ash ponds. 

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Environment
5:00 am
Tue April 8, 2014

'Astonishing:' State Appeals Requirement To Clean-Up Coal Ash

Credit Southern Environmental Law Center

A North Carolina environmental agency is appealing a recent ruling that called for immediate action to stop groundwater contamination, caused by coal ash.

A North Carolina environmental agency is appealing a recent ruling that called for immediate action to stop groundwater contamination, caused by coal ash.

The Environmental Management Commission (EMC) is a state regulatory panel. Its members are currently appointed by three republican lawmakers. Two years ago the EMC said it didn't have the authority to force Duke Energy to clean up the causes of groundwater contamination at 14 sites around the state. Environmentalists filed a lawsuit, claiming the EMC wasn't properly reading or enforcing the law. State judge Paul Ridgeway agreed with that take last month, telling the agency it had authority to mandate that Duke deal with contaminants.

Now, that same agency is appealing the judge's ruling. 

"So the state is now on the same side of this appeal as Duke Energy, defending Duke against our effort to enforce the law against them," said DJ Gerken, an attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center, who called this appeal astonishing. 

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The State Of Things
12:16 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Effects Of Coal Ash On Local Industries

Cattle. Farmers near the Dan River coal ash spill are worried about the effects on their herds.
Credit Wikipedia

   

Debate over the clean-up of the February coal ash spill that dumped nearly 39,000 tons of potentially toxic waste in the Dan River last February continues. The full effects on tourism and agriculture are not fully known and environmentalists continue to debate the best methods of clean-up. At the same time, a federal investigate examines the relationship between Duke Energy and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Host Frank Stasio talks with WUNC's Greensboro Bureau chief Jeff Tiberii about the latest. 

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Coal Ash
5:07 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Concerns Linger For N.C. Residents After Coal Ash Spill

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 1:04 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

A federal criminal investigation is focusing on Duke Energy and a North Carolina state environmental agency. A couple of months ago, as you may recall, a storm water pipe ruptured and poured as much as 39,000 tons of potentially toxic carbon byproduct into the Dan River in North Carolina.

North Carolina Public Radio's Jeff Tiberii reports.

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