Duke Energy Proposal Would Move Coal Ash to Airport


by Marvin Beach
Bio | Email | Follow: @MBeach14

CHARLOTTE, NC - The idea is the coal ash could be used to fill and grade land for construction projects. It's already being done at airports like the one in Asheville.

Environmentalists say anything to move the coal ash away from drinking water sources is good - but they still have a lot of questions. "I wish they would have released more than a short letter and a diagram," says Catawba Riverkeeper Sam Perkins. Perkins says there are still more questions than answers about Duke Energy's proposal. "There are a lot of small details to make sure that the coal ash, however they use it, is going to be kept exactly where they put it, and that it's not going to be leaching out," he says.

The utility company says if coal ash is moved from the Riverbend Steam Station to the airport - it would be sealed, buried, and away from water. But people living near Charlotte-Douglas say they aren't convinced. "I think it's terrible. I mean, we have well water. They're gonna put that out here, could contaminate our water. I know they promise it will be lined, but we know them things leak," says Southwest Charlotte resident Gary Rogers.
City Councilwoman Claire Fallon there are ways to make sure the ash is cleaned up and contained. "I just want it away from the water supply. We have one water supply," Fallon says.
Fallon.. who is a Duke shareholder.. says these problems should have been fixed years ago. "God forbid anything happens to that. This is not a small town that you can supply with water. This is a big city and that would be the end of it," she says.
People living near the steam station in Mt. Holly say they're relieved Duke plans to move the coal ash away. "You know we hear about the spills, the coal going into water supplies, and so it's always a concern," says Robert Shin.
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