Crafting Permanent Coal Ash Solutions

Duke Energy is actively working to close its 60 coal ash basins to protect the environment, the public and the costs customers pay.

In 2016, the company announced it would excavate 34 basins and safely cap another 18 basins across its fleet. The company is still finalizing details on the remaining sites.

Flexible ash basin closure options not only ensure Duke Energy can select the right closure options for each site, but also help keep costs lower for customers compared to a one-size-fits-all approach.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognizes that excavation or capping basins, combined with long-term monitoring, can be equally protective of the environment. The EPA also acknowledges that the vast majority of ash in the nation will be safely stored by capping basins in place. Consistent with the industry, Duke Energy plans to safely dispose of almost 70 percent of its ash by capping in place.

Duke Energy is actively working to close its 60 coal ash basins to protect the environment, the public and the costs customers pay.

As part of the company’s ongoing commitment to its customers, it is closing older, less-efficient coal plants and ash basins, responsibly managing waste, and exploring new opportunities to expand the reuse of coal ash for beneficial purposes.

Duke Energy currently recycles nearly two-thirds of all ash produced and has announced plans to install three reprocessing units to transform even more of this material into useful products.

Since the 2014 Dan River coal ash release in North Carolina, Duke Energy has been mindful of any impact coal ash has on the environment and the community.

A two-year study conducted by N.C. State University along a 57-mile stretch of the Dan River showed no impacts of the coal ash release on agricultural crops in the area. The study joins a growing list of scientific data that demonstrate the river is doing well and wildlife is thriving.

In addition, scientific data continue to show ash basins are not impacting neighbors’ wells or drinking water supplies near Duke Energy plant sites. This includes a Duke University study that confirmed hexavalent chromium is naturally occurring in drinking water wells across the region and is not originating from ash basins.