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DENR gets an earful on coal ash storage permits

Ash-fill

Duke Energy photo of coal ash being used in a structural fill project.

Lee County residents and concerned citizens packed the Dennis Wicker Civic Center in Sanford Monday night to voice their opposition to plans that would allow Duke Energy to move up to 20 million tons of coal ash to landfills in Lee and Chatham counties.

While Duke Energy says proven technology will ensure that ash is stored safely, those in the audience were less than reassured. Here’s more from the speakers, as reported by the Fayetteville Observer:

 

There were 40 people who spoke during the two-hour hearing, which attracted about 200 people. All of the speakers opposed the proposed permits.

“I am scared to death,” said Shawn Moore, a resident of Lee County. He said he is concerned the coal ash could contaminate his water supply and the land, where he maintains a garden and greenhouse, and hunts wild game.

“I think it is ridiculous that y’all want to dump this in my backyard,” he said.

The audience erupted in applause after his comments, as it did for almost every other speaker.

 

Therese Vick taped a sign that read “local official” to her back, placed a piece of duct tape with “Duke” written on it over her mouth and stood at the microphone for three minutes.

Nick Wood rejected the permits and then read a poem about the affects of pollution.

Lorna Chafe stated her objection, then joined four friends – they call themselves the Triangle Raging Grannies – to sing a song about Duke Energy’s plan.

“They’ll dump it in baggies and declare it contained, but common sense tells us that this is insane,” they sang. “If the water is safe, then here’s what you should do, invite Duke’s bosses to have a glass or two.”

Debbie Hall, who wore a “Keep NC Frack Free” T shirt, said she had concerns with how the coal ash dumps would affect air quality and the possibility of the liners leaking.

“The bullying of this community and the social injustice of the location of this dump is not accepted by us and we hope you won’t accept it. I hope and pray you will not accept these permits.”

Want to have your say?

On Thursday DENR will host a second public hearing from 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. at the Chatham County Historic Courthouse, 9 Hillsboro Street, Pittsboro. Written comments will be also accepted through May 16th at: Solid Waste Permitting, N.C. Division of Waste Management,1646 Mail Service Center,Raleigh, N.C., 27699-1646.

You can learn more about Duke Energy’s coal ash management plans here.

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