Coal Ash Cleanup
Lawmakers debate a bill to force Duke Energy to clean up coal ash basins across the state. It gives Duke five years to clean up the ash ponds at its Asheville plant.
But environmentalists say 29 other ponds across the state will be capped, and the ash left in the ground. The Western North Carolina Alliance helped to launch cleanup efforts with a lawsuit two years ago. But environmentalists says lawmakers have limited Duke’s cleanup requirements and who will pay for it.
Hartwell Carson, environmentalist with the alliance says, "I haven’t seen any indication that Duke is willing to spend money out of their own pocket to do the right thing. They’re going to do the right thing when they’re forced to do the right thing, and they’re going to try at every end to pass that cost onto the ratepayers."
Duke officials say in Asheville, the company has been excavating the coal ash ponds since 2008. Engineers are using the ash as fill material for new taxiways and commercial development at the Asheville Airport.
By: Sherrill Barber