Media contacts: Drew Ball, Environment North Carolina Research and Policy Center state director, firstname.lastname@example.org, 919-833-0015
Mark Morgenstein, Sr. Communications Mgr., email@example.com, 678-427-1671
RALEIGH, NC -- The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality is ordering Duke Energy to excavate its final nine coal ash storage ponds, located at six of its power plants across the state, and move the hazardous material to lined landfills. Duke Energy had proposed the less safe option of capping the materials within leaking, unlined landfills, or developing a hybrid approach of excavation and cap-in-place. The Department's announcement is a major win for communities that have lived with the environmental impacts and public health threat of coal ash contamination.
In response, Environment North Carolina Research and Policy Center State Director Drew Ball released this statement:
"We are excited and relieved that Duke Energy will finally have to clean up its coal ash mess. Today, Governor Roy Cooper and D-E-Q Secretary Michael Regan have taken a historic step and are standing on the side of the environment, public health and science instead of kowtowing to one of the most powerful corporations in our state.
“As it was repeatedly and overwhelmingly stated by communities across the state during the public comment period, North Carolinians have been living under the threat of coal ash for far too long. We applaud Governor Cooper and his administration for upholding his pledge to tackle this issue.”