Faced with state and advocates’ lawsuits, Duke Energy is beginning to waver on its long-held assertion that coal ash stored at its North Carolina power plants doesn’t threaten public health.
Excerpt from Sam Perkins, the Catawba Riverkeeper:
More and more, we are learning how much Duke Energy’s coal ash pollution is threatening drinking water supplies throughout North Carolina. What we are seeing in the state makes clear that Duke Energy must get its polluting coal ash off the banks of the Catawba River’s Mountain Island Lake, the drinking water reservoir for the Charlotte metropolitan region.
The problem is so extensive that every Duke coal ash pond in North Carolina is now the subject of a lawsuit. To the west, in Asheville this past week, the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources ruled that Duke needs to provide alternative safe drinking water to a home with a well contaminated by high levels of coal ash pollution from nearby coal ash ponds. At Mountain Island Lake on the Catawba River, testing by the Catawba Riverkeeper and Duke’s own groundwater monitoring wells have revealed the same contaminants as in Asheville at more than 10 times the Asheville level and 128 times the state groundwater standard (for manganese, a neurotoxin) – as well as cobalt at 52 times the standard and arsenic at twice the standard – and going into our drinking water reservoir.
Company offers free car washes.
I have to tell you, we’ve seen a lot of different types of coal ash issues as we’ve traveled the country over the past couple years for our documentary. There are companies that pay for their employees to get their cars repainted because the acidic stuff coming out of the coal plants erodes the paint, for example. But this is the first time we’ve seen free car washes for a whole damn town. That won’t solve or mask the problem, though, unfortunately.
FirstEnergy’s plan to close its Little Blue Run coal ash impoundment in Beaver County contains more than 160 “deficiencies,” including a failure to acknowledge arsenic contamination of groundwater, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.
Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/news/environment/plan-to-close-coal-waste-site-has-deficiencies-dep-says-707902/#ixzz2i5vaftGN
Why do today what you can put off indefinitely: “It’s really a very simple notion,” said Frank Holleman, an attorney for the Southern Environmental Law Center, which is now suing Duke Energy over coal
Duke Energy wants to stop the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority from using groundwater under 11,000 acres – 17 square miles – adjacent to downtown Wilmington. Forever. The reason? Coal ash pollution.
DTE Energy disputes a report by an environmental group that says the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has added 18 sites to a list of places where coal ash is contaminating ground water, including two metro Detroit sites.
Follow the link to interact with the map, which isn’t all-inclusive — it only depicts the United States, and not even all of it; Hawaii and Alaska aren’t included.
If the Plant Scherer lawsuits filed Thursday in DeKalb County State Court are successful, they could have broad implications for power companies.
One suit, filed on behalf of Ronald and Traci Bedenbaugh of Juliette, claims that Plant Scherer owners committed fraud by proclaiming to health care providers, government agencies and the public that their coal ash waste is environmentally safe.
It also alleges that the Scherer owners were negligent because they “recklessly” failed to analyze their own coal ash waste or study reasonable standards for safely getting rid of it.
Georgia Power officials always point out that they follow state and federal rules. But there are no coal ash regulations.