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ONLY ON 3: Sutton Plant coal ash could head to New Hanover Co. landfill


NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- Toxic coal ash from the Sutton Plant may be moving closer to you than you think.

The solution to getting rid of coal ash at Duke Energy's Sutton Plant may be a short trip down the road to the New Hanover County Landfill.

Coal ash at the Sutton Plant has to go, but where?

Rep. Rick Catlin (R-20th District) says the New Hanover County Landfill, only three miles away from the old coal-fired power plant, is a feasible option.

"It would be an environmental solution, but the question is capacity, cost, and the county commissioners will have to deal with that if it even moves forward to that point," Catlin said.

He says the landfill is the best bet, because it has measures in place to keep spills from happening.

"The landfill would be double lined with leachate collection. It would be environmentally safe,” Catlin explained.

But NC Coastal Federation Coastal Advocate Mike Giles says even lined landfills can leak.

"Lined landfills have a life span, and municipal landfills are different than landfills for hazardous waste. Municipal landfills are designed for household municipal garbage," Giles said. “Eventually lined landfills will leak."

And with the landfill only six miles from the Cape Fear River, Giles says any leak could have dangerous consequences.

"It's full of arsenic, mercury, radon, radioactive materials. It's a very hazardous material. When it gets in our waters it pollutes our waters, it gets in the substrate, and the sediments in our rivers. And some of the materials are cancer causing," Giles said.

Giles says one of their main concerns is the fact that if this becomes reality, millions of tons of coal ash waste would be dumped on a tax-payer landfill already struggling to make room for more trash.

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coal ash...

I got the BEST idea(s) to deal with this problem AND make POWER from it... though, I digress....

Constructive Comments Please

Negative comments don't solve problems.

If you don't like something, offer a better solution.


that the county commission is so adamant about shipping NH County waste to Sampson county landfill at huge tipping costs increases, yet in this case they are anxiously taking in hazardous waste from Sutton?
And Catlin makes us think that NH County landfill is somehow "better" because it's lined and has leachate collection? Rick - hello - thats been an industry standard for years.........


He says the landfill is the best bet

You would think a professional engineer and the president of a firm called CATLIN Engineers and Scientists would ask one of those scientist about how best to dispose of coal ash. Rick Catlin says why he believes this is a good idea, but apparently without knowing much about municipal landfills. Perhaps his next campaign finance filing will shed some light on his preference to not represent the best interest of his constituents.


New Hanover County is already trucking thousands of gallons of leachate out of it's lined landfill. Important questions are; what happens with the bad stuff? Does it stay in the solids...or does it go with the leachate? The leachate is hauled off and treated but will the treatment take care of these new hazardous materials?

The last thing we need is a shell game where the hazardous materials are simply moved from one place to another with no real solution.

Another concern is ownership and this one scares me. If the hazardous materials are moved from Duke Energy's private property into a publicly-owned landfill, does the ownership and liability transfer too? Do we want to own coal ash?

In my opinion we, the public, bear some of the responsibility for the cost of cleaning up these coal-ash ponds. I know that's an unpopular opinion but for years we've enjoyed artificially low electric rates because power companies were piling up waste rather than taking the more expensive route and treating it. Now it's time to pay the piper.

DUKE's poisonous Coal Ash in community landfill


Bad idea

Hasn't New Hanover County had issues with the old Landfill at Flemington? Why would they deal with such toxic waste and try and tell everyone it is safe? Catlin isn't looking out for our best interest, maybe his, but not ours.

Follow the money

Who is the most likely to BENEFIT from having Duke's coal ash dumped in the New Hanover Co. landfill? NOT the citizens of the Cape Fear region. Wouldn't a representative of the area be AGAINST dumping arsenic so close to his constituents?

Very curious of Rep. Catlin's motives.


Its coal ash from generating YOUR power....

David Rouser

David says he is in business for himself now but never reveals what that business is. I really wonder what it is. Is it in politics? Anyway he must not be very successful since he drives an older Tahoe with over 300,000 miles on it or maybe he just copied another republican politician says he drives an older Ford truck with over 300,000 miles on it. Personally I think both are liars