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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Environment
8:34 am
Wed September 10, 2014

NC Governor Won't Block Coal Ash Bill... But He Won't Sign It Either

On Feb. 2, about 39,000 tons of coal ash spilled from a Duke Energy facility into the Dan River, north of Eden, N.C.
Credit Steven Alexander / USFWS

Governor Pat McCrory says he'll allow a coal ash management plan to become law without his signature.

The governor says Duke Energy needs to take action as soon as possible. It needs to take care of the coal ash that's in ponds across the state. But that doesn't mean the governor is happy with the plan.

"I am letting the bill become law without signing it because there are major deficiencies that need to be corrected," he said in a recorded statement.

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Politics & Government
8:56 am
Thu September 4, 2014

Environmental Advocates File New Lawsuit Against Duke Energy For Coal Ash Pollution

Credit Waterkeeper Alliance

Officials at the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources have filed suits and threatened to fine Duke over coal ash contamination.

Attorneys from the Southern Environmental Law Center are focusing on plants in Chatham, Rowan and Wayne counties. Attorney Frank Holloman says the toxic hexavalent chromium has been seeping from the Buck Steam station in Rowan County.

"All of these are substances you do not want in these quantities, in your drinking water, in your body, in what your children eat or drink, or for that matter in your fish and wildlife."

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Politics & Government
7:30 am
Fri August 29, 2014

NC Officials Reject New Legal Action Against Duke Energy Over Coal Ash Ponds

Duke Energy's coal-fired Buck Steam Station in Rowan County.
Credit Duke Energy

Environmentalists say they plan to sue Duke Energy over coal ash pollution from power plants, after the state environmental agency said it does not plan to take new legal action against the utility company.

Lawyers at the Southern Environmental Law Center first said in early July that they wanted to file a lawsuit. They said Duke was violating the federal Clean Water Act at the Buck Plant in Rowan County, the Cape Fear Plant in Chatham County, and the H.F. Lee Plant in Wayne County.

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Environment
8:01 am
Wed August 27, 2014

NC Prepares To Fine Duke Energy For Pollution At Two Coal Ash Ponds

Duke Energy's 33 coal ash ponds and their operational status in 14 energy plants across North Carolina
Credit Duke Energy

The North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources plans to fine Duke Energy for groundwater contamination from two coal ash ponds near Wilmington.

State officials decided to fine Duke as they wait for the outcome of legal action against the utility company.

In lawsuits filed last summer, officials say Duke has illegally leaked toxic chemicals like thallium from coal ash ponds.

These are 33 basins across North Carolina full of ash left over from burning coal. Two of these basins are at the L.V. Sutton Electric Plant in New Hanover County.

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Politics & Government
4:24 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

NC Governor Will Sign Coal Ash Bill Into Law, But May Challenge It In Court

A Duke Energy power plant and coal ash ponds outside Asheville.
Credit Zen Sutherland

Governor Pat McCrory says he plans to sign a bill to manage North Carolina’s coal ash ponds. But he may also challenge a key part of it.

The governor played a role this summer when members of the House and Senate were crafting the  plan. He made suggestions of his own on what to do with Duke Energy's 100 million tons of coal ash.

The bill is now on his desk. Over the weekend, on the talk show NC Spin, his support for it was cautious.

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Politics & Government
8:40 am
Thu August 21, 2014

General Assembly Adjourns With Medicaid and Teacher Assistant Plans Unfinished

Credit Government & Heritage Library, State Library of NC / www.flickr.com/photos/statelibrarync/8634329145/

  After a prolonged legislative session marked by delayed talks and Republican infighting, the General Assembly has finished its work and adjourned for the year.

The short session dragged on as lawmakers struggled to compromise over key issues, including teacher pay and coal ash. Legislators managed to strike a last-minute deal on Wednesday that would work to remove coal ash from 33 ponds across the state.

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Politics & Government
8:36 am
Thu August 21, 2014

NC Lawmakers Approve Plan To Manage Duke Energy's Coal Ash Ponds

Credit Waterkeeper Alliance

The North Carolina General Assembly is sending Governor Pat McCrory a plan for Duke Energy’s coal ash ponds. It could become the first legislation in the country to try to mitigate the pollution from ashes left over from burning coal.

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Politics & Government
8:44 am
Wed August 20, 2014

NC Lawmakers Compromise On Plan For Duke Energy's 33 Coal Ash Ponds

North Carolina lawmakers have been under pressure to pass legislation in response a February spill of more than 39,000 tons of coal ash from a Duke plant onto the Dan River.
Credit Riverkeeper Foundation

Top Republicans in the North Carolina General Assembly say they’ve agreed on a plan to manage Duke Energy’s coal ash ponds. The plan for Duke Energy's 33 ponds has been roughly six months in the making, but just weeks ago negotiations broke down between the senators and representatives who were writing it.

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Politics & Government
2:04 pm
Thu August 14, 2014

McCrory: 'We Haven't Broken Any Rules'

Gov. Pat McCrory.
Credit www.governor.state.nc.us

Governor Pat McCrory is responding to charges that he misstated when he sold his stock in Duke Energy. McCrory worked for the company for almost 30 years. 

Speaking to reporters after an education conference held by the North Carolina Chamber, the Governor faced a series of questions about when he sold the Duke stock that was part of his 401k.

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Politics & Government
9:18 am
Wed August 6, 2014

Why NC Lawmakers Couldn't Agree On A Coal Ash Management Plan This Summer

A Duke Energy power plant and coal ash ponds outside Asheville.
Credit Zen Sutherland

A few members of the North Carolina House of Representatives will be back in Raleigh for a skeleton session today, but no real business is expected to be conducted. Technically, they need to be there to keep the legislature in session. That’s because they couldn’t agree with their colleagues in the Senate on one of their main priorities this summer – what to do about 33 coal ash dumps around the state.

This story starts in February this year, and you might have seen it on national newscasts.

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