WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The community had a chance to meet with Duke Energy officials to talk about the process of closing the Sutton Plant coal ash ponds. Members from the public came out tonight to voice their concerns about the changes to Duke Energy Progress’s Sutton Energy Complex in New Hanover County. Duke is required to close the coal ash ponds there by August 1, 2019.
Jeff Brooks, a representative from Duke Energy was on hand to hear the public’s opinions. They said their interests are very similar to the citizens.
“Well I think we are all concerned about making sure that we protect public waters and that’s something we take very seriously. Sutton Lake was constructed as a cooling pond and that is what it has served in its function over its decades in operation over the plant. It will continue to serve that function over the new natural gas plant at the site,” said Brooks.
However for Ed Ablard this did not ease his concerns.
“The hearing was supposed to be about coal ash but really buried in the details they were also, duke is also asking for permission to dump whatever comes out of the combined cycle natural gas power plant into the river,” said Ablard.
State officials said last November Duke Energy Progress was notified that Sutton Lake would go from being classified as “treatment unit” to “waters of state”. This means the State has more control over what is done to Sutton Lake.
If you would like to see the full permit document click the link.