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Duke Energy said Saturday night that heavy rains from Florence caused a slope to collapse at a coal-ash landfill at a closed power station near the North Carolina coast.
Duke spokeswoman Paige Sheehan said about 2,000 cubic yards (1,530 cubic meters) of ash were displaced at the L. V. Sutton Power Station outside Wilmington and that contaminated runoff likely flowed into the plant’s cooling pond. The company has not yet determined whether the weir that drains the lake was open or if contamination may have flowed into the Cape Fear River. That’s enough ash to roughly fill 180 dump trucks.
Florence slammed into the North Carolina coast as a large hurricane Friday, dumping nearly three feet (1 meter) of rain and swelling the region’s rivers. The resulting flooding forced swift-water rescues and left several people dead.
Sheehan said the company had reported the incident to state and federal regulators “out of an abundance of caution.”
The coal-fired Sutton plant was retired in 2013 and the company has been excavating millions of tons of ash from old waste pits and removing it to safer lined landfills constructed on the property. The gray ash left behind when coal is burned contains toxic heavy metals, including arsenic, lead and mercury.
Duke Power reported the incident out of an abundance of caution? I call bullshit! If they were cautious the coal ash wouldn’t have been there in the first place.
Scott Pruitt; the gift that keeps on giving even after he’s gone.
". . . those who claim to know the Mind of God, who will tell you what God thinks and how He will judge and condemn others—those people are the greatest of all blasphemers." Aloysius Xingu Leng Pendergast
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