The N.C. Department of Environmental Quality is notifying about 1,000 drinking-well owners who live within a half-mile of coal ash ponds that they will receive permanent water supplies, according to a news release. Many of these residents already have been on bottled water for nearly a year and a half.
While state law the deadline requires Duke Energy to submit plans for installing water supplies to all homes by December 2016, those supplies can be installed as late as the fall of 2018 — two years from now.
The law also requires the utility to pay for either the installation of a new water line or a home filtration system for each house located within a half-mile compliance boundary of a coal ash pond, as long as the residence that isn’t separated by a body of water that would prevent any potential contamination. The utility must also install new water supplies beyond the half-mile boundary wherever any contamination from coal ash facilities is found.
DEQ says it will evaluate the plans over the following year in order to provide all households with a permanent water supply as quickly as possible. As part of that review, additional households may be identified to receive alternate water supplies.