Under the signed agreement, Duke will be required to excavate more than 76 million tons of coal ash from open, unlined impoundments at the six facilities. More than 3 million tons of non-impoundment coal ash will also be excavated. Two facilities, Roxboro and Marshall, will be subject to additional protective measures for specific sections of impoundments that will remain under existing permitted landfills or structural fills. Protective measures will include stabilization requirements, and surface water and groundwater monitoring and any necessary remediation.
The agreement also requires Duke to enter into a court-supervised consent order with DEQ and the groups represented by Southern Environmental Law Center.
“This agreement is a historic cleanup of coal ash pollution in North Carolina, and the Department of Environmental Quality and community groups throughout the state have provided essential leadership in obtaining it,” said Frank Holleman, senior attorney at the Southern Environmental Law Center which represents community groups in court seeking coal ash cleanups in North Carolina. “The water resources and families of North Carolina will benefit from this statewide coal ash cleanup for years to come.”
Duke has submitted closure plans for the excavations by the December 31, 2019 deadline, as required by the Coal Ash Management Act (CAMA) of 2016 and in accordance with the agreement. The public will have an opportunity to comment on the closure plans during a comment period and at public hearings near each of the six sites in February. Under CAMA, DEQ’s final action on the closure plans is due within 120 days of receipt of the complete closure plans. Within 60 days of approval, implementation of the plans must begin.
For more information and to read the agreement and closure plans: https://deq.nc.gov/coalashexcavation
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