DEQ announces ash removal from all high risk coal ash facilities

DEQ announces ash removal from all high risk coal ash facilities

By / State News / Wednesday, 09 December 2015 05:00

RALEIGH, N.C. : December 3rd, 2015 - The state environmental agency announced today that North Carolina has reached a milestone in removing the threat of coal ash throughout the state. This week, state officials received notification that excavation and removal of dry ash is now underway at all four high risk coal ash sites identified by the Coal Ash Management Act (CAMA).
“We have been working very hard to issue the proper permits for coal ash removal and are proud to announce that dry ash is now being moved at all four high priority sites,” Assistant Secretary for the Environment Tom Reeder said. “Our work is far from done. We remain committed to meeting all deadlines in the coal ash law and overseeing the closure of all coal ash sites as quickly and safely as possible. The next big step is issuing the proper permits for Duke to begin excavating its coal ash ponds. We are working closely with the federal government to get those permits approved and out the door as soon as possible.”
DEQ issued the necessary permits to allow dry ash removal at the four high priority sites, which include the Asheville Plant, Riverbend Steam Station, Dan River Steam Station and Sutton Plant in Wilmington, NC.
Necessary approvals have also been issued for dry ash removal from Duke Energy’s Rogers Energy Complex (formerly Cliffside Steam Station), Allen Steam Station, Mayo Power Station and Marshall Steam Station.  
The Brickhaven Mine Tract "A" site in Chatham County began receiving coal ash last month for a mine reclamation project after Green Meadow LLC and Charah Inc. received the proper permits from DEQ. The mine reclamation project moves coal ash away from facilities located near waterbodies for use as structural fill in the Brickhaven open-pit clay mine. Engineered, protective liners are installed at the prepared mine sites before the coal ash is deposited. The liners are designed to capture leachate and prevent coal ash contaminants from reaching groundwater.
Coal ash can be stored in either dry or wet form. Dry ash is stored in stacks and other management areas or used as structural fill. Wet ash is stored in coal ash ponds. Currently, wet ash contained in coal ash ponds is not being moved. DEQ is awaiting federal approvals for decanting and dewatering activities associated with coal ash stored in ponds before it may issue permits to allow coal ash pond excavation.
CAMA requires that coal ash impoundments at the four high priority sites be permanently closed by Aug. 1, 2019. The remaining 10
sites will be prioritized for closure, with all coal ash ponds and discharges from those coal ash ponds eliminated no later than 2029.

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