An environmental law firm says the state agency tasked with protecting natural resources downplayed the dangers of toxic coal-ash storage ponds in Wilmington by ranking dams there a “low hazard.”
The Southern Environmental Law Center sent a letter Thursday to the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources refuting the state agency’s 2013 assessment that dams holding coal ash storage ponds at Duke Energy’s L.V. Sutton Plant in Wilmington posed little risk to the environment or human health.
The dams hold back the toxic byproducts of coal-fired power plants from Lake Sutton, a popular public recreational lake often used for boating and fishing.
The letter sent last week (scroll down to read) from the Chapel Hill-based environmental group asks DENR to reassess the hazard level. A DENR spokesperson said the agency is reviewing the situation.