Guest Post: N.C. DEQ asks for new deadline to finalize coal ash storage classifications

Last week, the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) released new classifications for Duke Energy’s coal ash storage across the state. In the rankings, all sites are listed as high or intermediate priority, meaning the ash would be excavated by 2019 or 2024. Yet DEQ has asked to be able to revise the plan in 18 months, providing little security to the many North Carolinians whose communities, drinking water, and homes are threatened by this toxic ash.

To Drink or Not to Drink: A Change in Advice for North Carolina Well Owners Near Coal Ash Ponds

This is a guest post originally written by Robin W. Smith for the SmithEnvironment Blog. Smith is a lawyer with more than 25 years of experience in environmental law and policy. Before starting a private environmental law and consulting firm in 2013,  Smith served as Assistant Secretary for Environment at the North Carolina Department of [...]

South Carolina Leads Southeast in Coal Ash Cleanup; NC and TN Taking Action

Cleaning up coal ash works. What are our southeastern states doing to make it happen? This post is part one of a two-part series exploring the state of coal ash regulation and clean up in the Southeast. Part one focuses on North and South Carolina and Tennessee.

Congress Must Prevent Utilities From Skirting Coal Ash Landfill Requirements

The southeast has more coal ash per capita than any other region of the country, so we hope Rep. Johnson’s southern colleagues will co-sponsor and publicly support H.R. 4827.

Fate of Nearly 100 Million Tons of Coal Ash Could Hinge on NCDEQ Hearings

The fate of coal ash pits rated “low-” and “low-to-intermediate-” risk at seven of Duke’s power plant sites could hinge on public hearings happening through the end of March.

Honoring Black History Month and the Path Towards Energy Justice: Dr. Yolanda Whyte fights for children

When it comes to keeping kids safe and healthy, SACE member Dr. Yolanda Whyte knows that it takes more than a visit to the pediatrician. She is devoted to raising the alarm about the source of many health problems, especially for children of color and those who live in low-income areas: environmental toxics in our air and water. She graciously agreed to be interviewed for SACE’s Black History Month series.

Honoring Black History Month and the Path Towards Energy Justice: Coal Ash Testimony at US Commission on Civil Rights

On Feb 5 I had the honor to accompany local and national advocates to Washington, DC for a briefing of the US Commission on Civil Rights regarding the environmental justice impacts of toxic coal ash. Together, we delivered an unequivocal message to the Commission: Communities are suffering from this byproduct of burning coal for electricity, and EPA’s rules leave a lot to be desired to protect them. In 2016, the Commission is reviewing civil rights implications of EPA’s policies and will provide a report to Congress and the President by September 30. EPA recently released two new rules related to coal ash, so the Commission held this day-long briefing to hear from several panels of impacted people, experts, and industry representatives about environmental justice and coal ash.

Will TVA Sweep Coal Ash Under the Rug?

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is hosting public meetings across its territory to hear concerns from residents about its plan to “close” some of its toxic coal ash pits. This plan practically guarantees that prolonged and continuous contamination will occur on every waterway that has one of these coal ash impoundments near it. All this in an attempt to avoid compliance with federal requirements for new coal ash landfills that establish safer practices for the long-term storage of this dangerous waste.

Honoring Black History Month and the Path Towards Energy Justice: Hollis Briggs of Wilmington, NC

Wilmington North Carolina is a small coastal town in Southeastern North Carolina. It has pristine beaches that meet the mouth of the state’s largest river system known at the Cape Fear River. This daunting name has historical significance that serves as a great metaphor for the town’s deeply rooted justice issues that many Wilmingtonians fear bringing up. But Hollis Briggs is not like most Wilmington residents.

2015 Southeast Coal Roundup – Duke Energy

As we move into 2016, we continue our look back at where our Southeastern utilities are in their movement away from coal-fired power. This blog will focus on Duke Energy’s coal-plant operations in the Carolinas and Florida. Although Duke Energy operates coal-fired power plants outside of the Southeast, for the purposes of this blog, we will focus on those plants that are located in our region. Duke Energy owns coal plants in North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida. Duke was one of the earliest utilities in our region to begin reducing its reliance on coal-fired power, beginning with the retirements in 2011 of Units 1-4 (210 MW) at its Cliffside Steam Station, all three units at its Weatherspoon plant (171 MW) and the last two coal units at its Cape Fear plant (316 MW).