Local News

Lee County residents say no to coal ash

Posted November 17, 2014

— If the comments made during a meeting inside the Lee County Board of Commissioners Room Monday night are any indication, Lee County residents do not want coal ash in their backyards.

“Who invited this idea,” one resident asked. “Why weren’t we notified sooner? And what is the purpose of bringing coal ash to our area?”

“If the coal ash dumping is so desirable, then why aren't the CEOs from Duke Power and their neighbors fighting to have it in their backyards,” another resident said.

Duke Energy presented a plan that involves taking about 3 million tons of coal ash from the Riverbend Steam Station in Mount Holly and L.V. Sutton Steam Electric Plant in Wilmington and dumping them in open-pit clay mines in Sanford and Moncure as "engineered structural fill." The mines, which have been used by brick manufacturers, have layers of impervious clay that add environmental protections to the synthetic liner Duke plans to install, officials said.

Filling the clay mines with ash will help reclaim previously unusable land and will allow faster action than trying to site a new landfill, officials said, adding that proximity to rail lines will allow the company to minimize the use to trucks to move the ash.

Residents said they’re worried about possible soil, air and water contamination. No residents spoke in favor of the plan Monday night.

One resident, Debra Champion, spoke directly to the Duke Energy representatives at the meeting.

“I’m sorry, I’m sure you’re all very nice people, but you are not here for the betterment of my community,” she said.

As the meeting adjourned, many residents chanted 'Shame on you' to Duke Energy officials.

Champion said coal ash, on top of fracking, is too much for Lee County.

“Coal ash and fracking make the most lethal combination when put together,” she said.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • FVHowler Nov 18, 2014

    Makes good sense to choose the sites in the article. The stuff is here and we have to dispose properly. Of course no one is "for it" but the best location must be chosen for the public good.

  • jmcdow2792 Nov 18, 2014

    View quoted thread

    No, I don't have any, do you? Are you aware that it is the remains of fossil plants containing many trace elements necessary for life and as such has been used for soil amendment?

  • Phil Larson Nov 18, 2014
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    Perhaps you have some extra land they can put this stuff on.

  • Michael Hart Nov 18, 2014
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    and I would suppose free from any water source. You do realize water does run underground?

  • Inter Alios Nov 18, 2014

    NUTS4U - then its settled; they can put the arsenic, lead and mercury in your back yard.

  • jmcdow2792 Nov 18, 2014

    Does any wonder why the EPA does not consider this material hazardous or toxic? Does anyone question why the federal government or no other state is attempting to regulate coal ash like NC is?

  • Richard Hertz Nov 18, 2014
    user avatar

    No one wants the waste products that come along with the electricity making process. But boy I bet they all love it when the power is on to their homes. I say dump it somewhere else and cut the power lines going in to Lee county.

  • Rebelyell55 Nov 18, 2014

    It's nice that they allow the citizens to speak their minds. However, I don't think it'll do anygood and that this is a done deal.

  • Itsmyopinion67 Nov 18, 2014

    Shame on Lee County residents for not wanting this!

  • silvfx Nov 18, 2014

    well I am sure our state leaders will stand up for these folks. You know how they get all warm in fuzzy defending the common man against big corporations.