According to WUNC public radio, Duke Energy spokeswoman Paige Sheehan says heavy rains from Florence caused a slope to collapse at a coal ash landfill near the North Carolina coast. The breach displaced about 2,000 cubic yards of ash. That’s enough ash to fill about 180 dump trucks.
Officials are still trying to figure out if the ash contaminated runoff waters and flowed into the cooling pond of the L.V. Power Station outside Wilmington. And it’s trying to be determined if the contamination also flowed into the Cape Fear River.
WUNC reports, “Spokeswoman Megan S. Thorpe at the state’s Department of Environmental Quality said state regulators will conduct a thorough inspection of the site as soon as safely possible.
‘DEQ has been closely monitoring all coal ash impoundments that could be vulnerable in this record-breaking rain event,’ Thorpe said. She added that the department, after assessing the damage, will ‘hold the utility accountable for implementing the solution that ensures the protection of public health and the environment.’
There are at least two other coal-fired Duke plants in North Carolina that are likely to affected by the storm.”
Recently on NPR’s All Things Considered, host Ari Shapiro spoke with Frank Holleman who is from the Southern Environmental Law Center about coal ash water contamination.
The Wall Street Journal says the EPA’s director of the Office of Emergency Management, Reggie Cheatham, held a briefing in which he said the agency is working with Duke Energy and the State of North Carolina to monitor coal ash storage in the region.