Duke Energy proposing on-site coal ash landfill at W.S. Lee Station

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  • Fully lined facility will provide permanent storage solution for remaining coal ash

  • Company continues transporting coal ash to Homer, Ga. as part of initial work

  • Continued progress being made moving ash at six Carolinas coal plants

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Duke Energy Carolinas has started the permitting process to safely manage coal ash at the W.S. Lee Station in Belton, S.C., by constructing a fully lined on-site landfill.

It will be located on existing plant property and will provide a permanent storage solution for approximately 2.2 million tons of coal ash remaining at the site.

Duke Energy Carolinas announced in 2014 its intention to excavate coal ash from two ash basins and a structural fill area on the property.

"This proposed landfill continues to advance our strategy to safely close ash basins and manage coal ash across our service area," said John Elnitsky, Duke Energy senior vice president of ash basin strategy. "Our preference is to store coal ash at or near our plant sites, when possible. This landfill will reduce impacts to the local community and will provide a safe and efficient solution for the permanent storage of the remaining ash at the W.S. Lee Station."

The landfill will feature multiple layers of synthetic and natural barriers. Coal ash will be stored dry in the landfill with a protective capping system installed on top – effectively containing the ash and separating it from surrounding soil and groundwater.

Extensive groundwater monitoring will ensure the landfill operates as designed and the local environment remains protected.

"Our first priority is ensuring the continued safety of our neighbors and our environment," said Elnitsky. "We're using a science-based plan, industry-proven technology and advanced engineering to site and construct this fully lined landfill."

W.S. Lee site

Duke Energy Carolinas is currently excavating about 1.4 million tons of coal ash from one inactive ash basin and an ash fill area at the W.S. Lee site and transporting the material to a fully lined landfill in Homer, Ga. This work, which is underway, will manage approximately 44 percent of the coal ash at the site.

In addition to the coal ash management at W.S. Lee, the company is also constructing a combined-cycle natural gas plant expected to be operational in 2017. The original steam plant continues to operate one unit powered by natural gas.

Moving ash to final storage solutions

Duke Energy continues to make progress toward safely closing ash basins across the Carolinas. The company is currently moving ash at the Asheville Plant, Dan River Steam Station, Riverbend Steam Station, Rogers Energy Complex (formerly Cliffside Steam Station), Sutton Plant and W.S. Lee Steam Station to a variety of approved on- and off-site fully lined storage solutions.

The company announced in April 2015 that Duke Energy Progress will pursue an on-site lined landfill to manage ash at the Robinson Plant in Hartsville, S.C. Duke Energy continues to evaluate basins at other sites and will base recommended closure plans on science and public input.

For more information about ash management at Duke Energy, please visit duke-energy.com/ash-management.

About Duke Energy

Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is a Fortune 250 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com

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