NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Duke Energy is feeling the heat from the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
The agency sent a letter to Duke today saying the company must start addressing groundwater contamination issues from the Sutton steam plant. Duke Energy now has 15 days to respond to the notice of violation issued by DENR concerning that groundwater contamination.
Folks in Flemington, on the outskirts of New Hanover County near the plant, feel like they have the most to lose.
“Power plant was here when we moved here, and it has been spewing that stuff out for all these years,” Kenneth Sandlin said.
He has called Flemington home for more than 50 years. He’s been drinking the water that long, too.
“It could get better if they bring us water from somewhere else,” Sandlin said.
He lives in the shadow of the Sutton power plant, whose coal ash ponds are contaminating the water table, the state says. He knows changes to their groundwater are coming, but he doesn’t think it is happening fast enough.
“Our wells continue to test perfectly fine for quality according to state and federal standards,” CFPUA spokesman Mike McGill said.
McGill says it’s true the plant could contaminate groundwater. This is why they are building the new water lines to Flemington. The pollution is not currently a problem for their groundwater, he says, and it won’t be before Flemington gets new water coming straight from the water treatment plant.
Duke Energy says it is on track for having an excavation plan for the coal ash basins at Sutton by Nov. 15.