RALEIGH: DENR modifies permits for 3 coal ash facilities - WNCN: News, Weather

Duke Energy will be required to address problems at 3 coal ash facilities

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Duke Energy's Asheville Plant Duke Energy's Asheville Plant
Duke Energy's Sutton Plant Duke Energy's Sutton Plant
Duke Energy's River Steam Station Duke Energy's River Steam Station
RALEIGH, N.C. -

State environmental regulators will modify permits at three of Duke Energy's coal ash facilities to address deficiencies.

The N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources will require Duke Energy to eliminate all unauthorized discharges and potentially move coal ash from the basins at the Riverbend Steam Station in Gaston County and Asheville Plant.

Duke Energy will also be required to "accelerate closure" of the coal ash ponds at its Sutton Plant in Wilmington.

The action will require DENR to reopen the existing National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System wastewater discharge permits for the Riverbend Steam Station and the Sutton Plant. The Asheville Plant's NPDES permit is being renewed, so any additional conditions will be incorporated during the renewal process.

"In addition to our recent action to reopen the NPDES permit for the Dan River plant, we are taking these additional actions to address deficiencies at the three facilities that DENR has identified as the most urgent," said Tom Reeder, director of the N.C. Division of Water Resources. 

The Sutton Plant was issued a notice of violation March 3 for failure to obtain a NPDES industrial stormwater permit.

Duke Energy's NPDES permits allow the utility to discharge coal ash basin water from storage ponds into nearby waterways.

Duke Energy spokesman Dave Skanzoni said the company plans to respond DENR's reopening of the permits. By law, DENR is required to give Duke 60 days to respond.

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