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Got something to say about the coal ash plan at Dan River? Tonight’s your chance.

State environmental officials will hold a public hearing on Duke Energy’s proposed wastewater permit for the Dan River Station this evening in Eden.

As the Greensboro News & Record reports:

Coal ash clean upUtility officials say that Duke needs the discharge permit to successfully close the ponds, excavate the ash that is submerged there and move it to a lined landfill. The ash accumulated over the years as waste from the coal-fired steam station that Duke shuttered in 2012.

“The NPDES permits are a necessary step in completing the excavation of the ash basin at Dan River, which is something that environmentalists have said they want,” Duke spokesman Jeff Brooks said, using the acronym for the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System.

A law passed by state legislators after the Dan River spill two years ago requires Duke to drain those ponds, dig up the now-submerged ash and dispose of it in a lined landfill by August 2019.

But some environmentalists are skeptical of procedures detailed in the proposed Dan River permit, contending the proposal simply gives the utility a license to pollute.

The permits would allow so-called “seeps” from the earthen walls of the ponds, leakage into the river that is not treated but which utility officials and regulators say is necessary to preserve the walls’ structural integrity.

The public hearing will be held at 6:00 p.m. at the Eden City Hall, 308 East Stadium Dr., Eden. (Speaker registration begins at 5:00 p.m.)

Can’t attend, but want to comment on the wastewater permit?

Just email those comments to: publiccomments@ncdenr.gov by the end of the day and include “Dan River” in the email’s subject line.

You can review a copy of the draft Dan River permit here.

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