Waterkeeper Alliance responds to Sutton coal ash spill - Waterkeeper

Waterkeeper Alliance responds to Sutton coal ash spill

By: Waterkeeper Alliance

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Following Duke Energy’s disclosure of a coal ash release at its L.V. Sutton Power Station outside Wilmington, N.C. on Sept. 15, 2018, Donna Lisenby, global advocacy manager of Waterkeeper Alliance, released the following statement:

“Duke Energy knows the toxic coal ash at 14 of its plants in North Carolina is a threat to our waters, but it slow-walked cleanups by spending millions on lobbying and legal fights. If Duke had used that money instead to clean up its coal ash sites and begin excavation of flood-prone coal ash ponds at H.F. Lee, Weatherspoon, and Cape Fear sooner, all those dangerous sites would be much further along by now.

“Coal ash contains high concentrations of toxins and bio-persistent heavy metals, such as arsenic, chromium, selenium, and the now-banned rat poison thallium. Duke’s own water- testing data showed there are high levels of groundwater radioactivity at 11 of 18 of its plants. Much as Duke Energy might try to spin otherwise, these heavy metals and leaks of radioactive water from their coal ash ponds are a fact. Toxic coal ash, radioactivity, and heavy metals shouldn’t be anywhere near the state’s lakes and rivers, nor should they be leaking into North Carolina groundwater and surface water daily, as they are now, even on days when the rivers are low and the sun is shining.”

Waterkeeper Alliance and Waterkeeper groups in the Carolinas are documenting the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Florence. Video and images will be available here.

The Waterkeeper Alliance Rapid Response initiative provides trusted and independent information following disasters on our waterways. In a climate of lax federal regulations and budget cuts to state departments of environmental conservation, the need for Waterkeeper Organizations and Waterkeeper Affiliates to speak truth about the devastating impacts of water emergencies on communities has never been greater. Waterkeeper groups will remain involved as long as necessary in order to assure that proper clean-up, mitigation, and enforcement is completed.