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USA: Duke Energy announces plans for coal ash

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World Cement,

Duke Energy has submitted detailed coal ash excavation plans to the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (NC DENR) for ash stored at the high-priority Asheville Steam Electric Plant, Dan River Steam Station (Eden), Riverbend Steam Station (Mount Holly) and L.V. Sutton Steam Electric Plant (Wilmington) facilities. These plans and all associated permits must be approved by NC DENR before any excavation work can begin. Under North Carolina’s Coal Ash Management Act, all basins at those sites must be closed by 1 August 2019.

“This milestone reflects Duke Energy’s commitment to moving forward as quickly as practicable in a safe and environmentally sound way to address the enormous task of long-term coal ash storage in North Carolina,” said Lynn Good, president and chief executive officer of Duke Energy. “We are devoted to being good neighbours to the communities we serve and good custodians of our shared environment.”

The excavation plans describe a phased approach that enables the company to begin moving ash from the sites even as additional long-term solutions are developed. Excavation plans for ash at each of the four high-priority facilities are site-specific.

As part of Duke Energy’s commitment to recycle coal ash when it can, the ash removed from three of the four sites in Phase 1 will be beneficially reused in engineered structural fill projects. These include the ongoing structural fill project at the Asheville Regional Airport and two new projects to be developed at open-pit clay mines in Chatham and Lee counties.

These mine reclamation projects will comply with the requirements set forth in the Coal Ash Management Act.

Phase 1 also includes a plan for the Roanoke Cement Company to use thousands of tonnes of ash in the creation of concrete.

Duke has established a national advisory panel of independent experts in partnership with the University of North Carolina at Charlotte that will provide counsel on permanent coal ash storage solutions for all of its facilities. The company has also created a dedicated, in-house organisation to rigorously manage all of its coal ash operations.

More information on Duke Energy’s coal ash management operations, including the site excavation plans, fact sheets and the updated coal ash metrics chart can be found here.

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