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Stormwater from Duke Energy coal pile spills into the Broad River

Aug 04, 2016

John Downey | Senior Staff Writer, Charlotte Business Journal

Duke Energy says that heavy rains on Tuesday caused up to 50,000 gallons of stormwater to run off a coal pile at the Roger Energy Complex into the Broad River near Mooresboro, N.C.

The Charlotte-based company says the stormwater contained no coal ash — and never came in contact with any coal ash. The ash, which contains a number of heavy metals and other toxins, is what remains after coal is burned to produce electricity.

{The stormwater runoff from Duke Energy's Rogers Energy Complex never came in contact with any coal ash, the company says. COURTESY DUKE ENERGY CAROLINAS}

 The pile from which the stormwater ran off contained unburned coal waiting to be used by the power plant.

Collecting information

Duke Energy Corp. (NYSE:DUK) says it discovered the accidental stormwater spill during a routine inspection at the site. The utility says that it has “seen no impacts to the Broad River,” and that it has notified the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality about the spill.

Catawba Riverkeeper Sam Perkins criticized Duke for putting coal piles close to rivers and other bodies of water where they are subject to improper runoff during floods. He says the Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation hopes to gather information about the incident.

Duke says the runoff into Broad River amounted to 15,000 to 50,000 gallons of stormwater.

Duke is in the process of cleaning up coal ash ponds at seven current and seven former coal plants after a broken stormwater pipe spilled up to 39,000 tons of coal ash into the Dan River in February 2014.

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  John Downey covers the energy industry and public companies for the Charlotte Business Journal.

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