Digging Deeper: Coal ash dumping into the Neuse River

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During the past two hurricanes, there have been arsenic spilling out of the inactive, forested over coal ash sites into the Neuse River in Goldsboro.

It is stemming from Duke Energy’s HF Lee Energy Complex.
 
But even to this day, there is ongoing pollution.

After two years, the proposed HF Lee Wastewater Discharge Permit is now put out by the Department of     
Environmental Quality.

But within it, there is still a big concern from riverkeepers.

WNCT’s Alyssa Pejic spoke to Duke Energy more about the sites and their systems.

“They’re engineered filtration systems,” said Bill Norton from Duke Energy. We are not talking about coal ash releases into the river. What the permit regulates is the water that leaves the ash basin after that ash has been safely filtered out to the bottom of the basin. All ash basins across the nation work this way.”

Duke Energy has future recyclable plans for the coal ash remaining and will spend from next year until 2029 excavating the basins.

“What we have to deal with is 6 million tons of ash still there,” said Norton. We are in the process of building a new recycling unit. That will take a little bit of extra carbon out of the ash and that will allow the ash to be able to be used in concrete and make it stronger.”

Duke Energy comments that the public is safe now and will in the future under this new permit
level. 
 

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