Friday, December 19, 2014

Chatham County opposes Duke's ash disposal

Chatham County commissioners cited "substantial health and environmental risks" this week in opposing Duke Energy's plan to dump coal ash into open-pit clay mines.

Commissioners adopted a resolution against Duke's plan, announced last month, to send 2.9 million tons of ash to mines in Chatham and Lee counties.

Lee County officials have said they want the county to be compensated for taking the waste, likening it to host fees typically paid for regional solid waste landfills.

The Chatham resolution says the plan would expose residents to risks from potentially toxic elements in ash. It identifies "shortcomings" in the legislation this year that ordered Duke to close its 32 ash ponds, including lack of local control over ash disposal and fees.
Duke has said it needs to move quickly to meet deadlines set out in the legislation. The initial phase of work would move ash from four power plants, including Riverbend west of Charlotte, starting early next year.