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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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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Environment
8:32 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

Cleaning Coal Ash In Danville, VA

Duke Energy is scheduled to begin removing coal ash from the waters of Danville, VA today
Credit Steven Alexander / USFWS

Leaders of the Moral Monday movement will focus on coal ash during a town hall meeting in Eden. The moral Monday event consists of two panels of people who will discuss the health,

Leaders of the Moral Monday movement focused on coal ash during a town hall meeting in Eden. The 'Moral Monday' event consisted of two panels of people to discuss the health, environmental and economic impacts of the coal ash spill that originated in Eden, near the Virginia border almost two months ago. As much as 39,000 tons of potentially toxic ash poured into the Dan River when a metal pipe running through a Duke Energy coal ash dump, ruptured. The ash has been found as far as 70 miles downstream. Some of the ash at the spill site in Eden has been removed by the utility.

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The State of Things
10:00 am
Tue March 25, 2014

Triad News Update

Greensboro skyline
Credit creative commons

WUNC Greensboro Bureau Chief Jeff Tiberii talks about Greensboro development plans and the latest on the coal ash spill

  

 The Greensboro City Council approved a plan directing $65 million toward the development of a performing arts center in Greensboro. Similar venues in Durham and Charlotte have brought revenue and recognition to the cities. Greensboro leaders hope their investment will yield similar rewards. 

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Environment
5:35 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Following The Coal Ash News: DENR Abandons Proposed Settlement

The Dan River bank with residual dark grey coal ash.
Credit Steven Alexander / USFWS

Officials with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) have announced they are abandoning a proposed settlement with Duke Energy over the clean-up of coal ash.

Officials with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) have announced they are abandoning a proposed settlement with Duke Energy over the clean-up of coal ash. The proposed settlement would have levied Duke with a $99,000 fine, but had no requirement to remove or clean-up coal ash at two sites in the state. 

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The State of Things
5:00 am
Wed March 19, 2014

Today In Coal Ash: Federal Testimony And A Chatham County Investigation

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

Guest host Phoebe Judge talks with Jeff Tiberii, WUNC's Greensboro bureau chief about a Federal investigation of Duke Energy and DENR

  

A federal grand jury has been impaneled to hear evidence about the relationship between Duke Energy and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). At the same time, that state agency is investigating the discharge of water by the utility at a site in Chatham County. Guest host Phoebe Judge talks with WUNC's Jeff Tiberii about the latest developments on The State of Things today.

First, the court proceedings:

The highly criticized relationship between Duke Energy and DENR is the focus of the federal investigation. The U.S. Attorney's office is demanding that Duke Energy and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources hand over records of wire transfers, receipts and any items of value that might have passed between the two.  Twenty current and former state employees have been called to testify before a grand jury about their relationship with Duke Energy. The company and state utility commission also received subpoenas. 

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Environment
6:21 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Dispute Over Latest 'Action' From DENR

The Riverbend steam station along the Catawba River was retired in 2013.
Credit coalashchronicles.tumblr.com

On Friday the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) announced it plans to modify Duke Energy water permit. Those water permits are administered by the state and adhere to federal guidelines for discharge. DENR says it plans to change permits so that Duke would be required to remove all coal ash from unlined pits at two plants - one along Lake Catawba near Charlotte, the other outside of Asheville. The changes would also call for Duke to dewater and close coal ash ponds at Lake Sutton (outside of Wilmington).

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Environment
10:50 am
Fri March 14, 2014

DENR Calls Duke's Coal Ash Clean-Up Plan Inadequate

Taking core samples of coal ash spill.
Credit Sara Ward / USFWS

The CEO of Duke Energy sent a letter this week to Governor Pat McCrory and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) outlining the company's plans for coal ash clean-up in the state.

Duke says the letter is a big deal.

DENR described it as inadequate.

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Environment
5:00 am
Thu March 13, 2014

Democrats Want Coal Ash Removed

Credit Appalachian Voices / via Creative Commons/Flickr

A group of elected Democrats will detail their plans for the clean-up of coal ash Thursday afternoon in Raleigh. Democrat Pricey Harrison of Guilford County has introduced legislation a half dozen times to require the clean up of the potentially toxic coal ash at 14 Duke Energy-owned sites around the state. Her efforts have never advanced through the legislature.

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Environment
3:31 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Duke Energy Must Eliminate Source Of Pollution At Coal Ash Ponds

USFWS official takes core sample during February 8th reconnaissance of Dan River coal ash spill.
Credit Steve Alexander / USFWS

A state judge has ordered the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and Duke Energy to take immediate action to stop groundwater contamination at Duke Energy plants.  

Today's decision stems from a lawsuit filed in 2012 by Environmentalists. Groups claimed that DENR was not doing an adequate job of enforcing state regulations regarding groundwater contamination. Superior Court judge Paul Ridgeway told DENR and Duke today they must take immediate action to stop the source of groundwater contamination at 14 sites with coal ash ponds.

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The State of Things
1:47 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

More Metal Pipes At NC Coal Ash Ponds

Coal fired power plant
Credit eutrophication&hypoxia via Flickr, Creative Commons

WUNC's Greensboro bureau chief Jeff Tiberii talks about new developments in the NC coal ash spill

In the immediate aftermath of last month’s Duke Energy coal ash spill, concerns were raised about the existence of similar pipes at other ponds around the state. Yesterday, the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources, DENR, confirmed the presence of eight additional corrugated metal pipes at Duke Energy coal ash ponds. 

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