Coal Ash Chronicles

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Coal ash deposits headed to N.C. dry landfill


A spokesman for Duke Energy said the utility plans to take the coal ash accumulated near the Schoolfield Dam to a dry landfill in Roxboro, N.C.

Jeff Brooks told the Danville Register & Bee the Upper Piedmont landfill, owned by Republic Services, could possibly be the site where 2,500 tons of coal ash deposited on the upstream side of the dam would be taken.

The coal ash deposit covers about 26,000 square feet and is up to a foot thick.

Filed under Duke Energy Dan River coal ash spill clean up landfill Eden Roxboro NC water pollution environment health wildlife

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Coal ash storage a New River worry

Giles County, Va., is one of the many stops we’ve made along the adventure that has become “Coal Ash Chronicles.” Their story is, by far, one of the more salacious we’ve encountered.


The old Appalachian Power Co. plant here sits above the New River — and above coal ash storage ponds, the type of facility that earlier this year fouled miles of the Dan River.

About 10 miles upstream, another ash pond sits along the New River at the Celanese plant near Narrows.

Between them is a virtual coal ash landfill — 100,000 cubic yards of coal ash used to underpin an empty private industrial park on U.S. 460.

Filed under Giles County VA Glen Lyn New River Appalachian Mountains coal ash dump landfill construction government corruption water pollution environment health

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Duke Investors Urged to Reject Directors on Coal-Ash Spill

Duke Energy Corp. (DUK:US) shareholders should vote against four board members for lapses that led to a February coal-ash spill that fouled a North Carolina River, the California Public Employees€™ Retirement System and New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer said.

The four directors — G. Alex Bernhardt Sr., James B. Hyler Jr., James T. Rhodes and Carlos Saladrigas — “have failed to fulfill their obligations of risk oversight as members of a committee overseeing health, safety, and environmental compliance at the company,” Anne Simpson, senior portfolio manager for Calpers, and Stringer wrote in a letter (DUK:US) filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission today.

Filed under Duke Energy shareholders board members coal ash Dan River California Public Employees NYC Comptroller

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Flurry of filings by Duke and state officials spell lengthy delays for coal ash clean up | NC Policy Watch


In just a little over a year, from lawsuit to settlement in 2012, citizen and conservation groups in South Carolina pushed South Carolina Electric & Gas to begin cleaning up coal ash contamination at its sites there.

State environmental regulators stayed out and the utility stepped up, coming up with a plan to remove the ash from lagoons and either re-use it if possible or move it to lined storage elsewhere.

A similar push was afoot in North Carolina as groups investigated contamination at Duke Energy plants across the state, asked the state’s Environmental Management Commission for a ruling on how groundwater contaminations rules applied to coal ash sites here, and prepared for lawsuits against the company for contamination at its Asheville and Riverbend plants.

But unlike what happened in South Carolina, the state here stepped in and the utility pushed back. Now, nearly two years later, multiple lawsuits involving 14 plants are pending, a grand jury investigation is underway and the state is facing a major environmental management crisis for which no one has a plan.

Filed under coal ash NC regulation DENR Duke Energy clean up water pollution health environment

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WNCN investigation gets answer on state's coal ash appeal


“Why would the state of North Carolina object to having strong authority to clean up illegal pollution?” asked attorney Frank Holleman with the Southern Environmental Law Center.

WNCN Investigates asked DENR, the district attorney’s office, and all the members of the Environmental Management Commission why appeal?

No one gave us answer.

Filed under NC DENR Duke Energy shenaneganry coal ash

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NC sides with Duke in appeal of coal ash ruling

North Carolina regulators are joining with Duke Energy in appealing a judge’s ruling on cleaning up groundwater pollution leeching from the company’s coal ash dumps.

The state Environmental Management Commission filed notice Monday that it intends to appeal a March 6 ruling by Superior Court Judge Paul Ridgeway.

The commission and Duke contend North Carolina law does not give the state the authority to order an immediate cleanup. Ridgeway ruled the state had been misinterpreting the law for years.

Filed under North Carolina NC DENR Duke Energy coal ash clean up ground water water pollution health environment wildlife fish

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McClellan: Voss for Foss? It's who you know : News

The coal industry’s public relations’ schemes are alive and well in Missouri, too, where the state is trying to decide if a coal ash pond can be expanded into a flood plane along the Missouri River.


Karen Foss left KSDK for Ameren in 2007. It seemed like an odd hire to me. Why would a utility company want a former anchorwoman? The company already had a competent public relations person, Susan Gallagher.

Of course, the public didn’t know Gallagher. If you trotted her out to defend something indefensible, people wouldn’t say, “Well, if Susan says it’s reasonable, it must be.” That’s what the company figured it was getting with Foss. Credibility.

One of her first big jobs was a 30-minute infomercial about the disastrous breach at Ameren’s Taum Sauk reservoir. The story was almost two years old by then, but Foss managed to put a good spin on things. She looked and acted like a reporter interviewing company officials. What’s more, the company aired it on her old station, KSDK. Masterful.

Filed under public relations PR Ameren coal coal ash Labadie Missouri Missouri River