Duke Energy representative mum on coal ash cleanup during Wilmington visit


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — While representatives from Duke Energy Progress were in town to present a check to CFCC, we asked for an update on the timeline of the coal ash removal behind the old Sutton Steam Plant.

Duke Energy Eastern Regional Director for Community Relations John Elliott refused to comment, despite being asked multiple times.

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We later received this e-mail from Duke’s communication department:

“At the retired Sutton coal plant: We have accelerated planning and closure of the ash ponds at the retired coal-fired plant. We will evaluate the possibility of using the ash from this site as lined structural fill or move it to a lined landfill. The destination for this ash has not yet been determined. We will accelerate ash pond water removal at all retired coal plants to minimize the potential risk of a discharge similar to the one that occurred at Dan River.

“We will submit a conceptual ash basin closure plan to the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) this fall.

“Overall ash management: A near-term engineering review of the ash basins is underway to identify and address potential risks. In addition, we are developing a comprehensive longer-term ash basin strategy including a review of the effectiveness of ash storage management and practices.”