CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Duke Energy today issued the following statement regarding initial ash basin classifications issued by the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ).
BACKGROUND: As part of the Coal Ash Management Act (CAMA), the NCDEQ must recommend classifications for all coal ash basins throughout North Carolina to the Coal Ash Management Commission. Four sites received a high priority designation in the 2014 state law: Asheville Plant (Asheville, N.C.), Dan River Steam Station (Eden, N.C.), Riverbend Steam Station (Mount Holly, N.C.) and Sutton Plant (Wilmington, N.C.). Today's recommended classifications address the remaining 24 basins and will drive closure decisions and the schedule for each site. The CAMA includes very specific criteria that must be evaluated to determine these classifications and provides an opportunity for public input.
We appreciate the work that has gone into developing these preliminary recommendations. We're particularly interested in understanding how the state is balancing the requirements of the Coal Ash Management Act (CAMA) to ensure the environment is well protected without unnecessary cost and impact to customers and communities.
We are fully participating in this lengthy process, having provided the state with the most in-depth science and engineering studies experts have ever done around North Carolina ash basins. We want to ensure NC DEQ has the information it needs for its evaluation, so in addition to meeting our commitments under CAMA, we've also given regulators new and supplemental information that they recently requested.
Next, we look forward to hearing the public's perspective. In the meantime, we're making strong progress in closing basins in ways that protect people and the environment, comply with state and federal coal ash laws, minimize impact to communities, and manage cost.
Great progress in closing basins
Here is what Duke Energy has done in the last few months:
- Continued to excavate ash from the Asheville Plant (Asheville, N.C.) and began excavating at Cliffside Steam Station (Mooresboro, N.C.), Dan River Steam Station (Eden, N.C.), Riverbend Steam Station (Mount Holly, N.C.), Sutton Plant (Wilmington, N.C) and W.S. Lee Steam Station (Belton, S.C.) to fully lined, permanent solutions
- Submitted comprehensive groundwater assessments to NCDEQ for each of the 14 coal plants in the state
- Announced plans to build fully lined on-site landfills at the Dan River Steam Station (Eden, N.C.), Robinson Plant (Hartsville, S.C.), Sutton Plant (Wilmington, N.C.) and W.S. Lee Steam Station (Belton, S.C.)
- Announced that the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) is conducting a comprehensive study of the coal ash recycling market and available technologies
- Announced plans to retire the coal-fired Asheville Plant (Asheville, N.C.) in four to five years and modernize Duke Energy's generation and transmission system in Western North Carolina and Upstate South Carolina – significantly reducing environmental impacts, improving system reliability and minimizing long-term costs to customers
Duke Energy Carolinas owns nuclear, coal-fired, natural gas, renewables and hydroelectric generation. That diverse fuel mix provides approximately 20,000 megawatts of owned electric capacity to about 2.5 million customers in a 24,000-square-mile service area of North Carolina and South Carolina. Duke Energy Progress owns nuclear, coal-fired, natural gas and hydroelectric generation. That diverse fuel mix provides about 12,000 megawatts of owned electric capacity to approximately 1.5 million customers in a 32,000-square-mile service area of North Carolina and South Carolina.
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.