To: Governor Roy Cooper & NC Department of Environmental Quality
DEQ: Excavate Belews Creek Coal Ash
Demand that Duke Energy excavate all of the 12 million tons of coal ash from the leaking, unlined coal ash basin at Belews Creek and move it to a safe, lined landfill on Duke Energy's property. Also discharge the 14 billion gallons of water with a filtration system and increased water standards to protect individuals and communities living downstream on the Dan River.
Why is this important?
Numerous community members around the Belews Creek area have been advocating for the excavation of all of North Carolina's coal ash over the last several years. After decades of devastating illnesses, these leaders have raised their voices to push for change in their community and to be a model for the world. The Belews Creek community seeks to transition to renewable energy and showcase solutions related to climate change. Numerous moving stories have been shared worldwide. https://theliliesproject.org/hear-our-stories/
Duke Energy has proposed three solutions, which DEQ must consider. DEQ is currently collecting comments to help determine how Belews Creek will be closed. One solution is to cap the coal ash in place. A second "hybrid solution" removes the coal ash from the shallow areas, 140 acres of the 280 acre coal ash basin, and placing it on top of the deeper coal ash, which is sitting in the groundwater. The third option is to excavate the coal ash and move it to a lined landfill across Pine Hall Road on Duke's property.
Excavation of the coal ash basin at Belews Creek is the only way to stop polluting our groundwater, lakes, and rivers. Recent monitoring shows Duke Energy is polluting the groundwater surrounding Belews Creek with toxic and radioactive materials.
Capping in place or the proposed "hybrid solution" does not stop the heavy metals from continuing to contaminate the groundwater. The cap material does not prevent inundation from heavy storms. The coal ash currently sits within the groundwater and are feed continuously because local streams are buried beneath the pond. Drains from under the pond discharge throughout the community. By excavating to a lined landfill, these problems will be eliminated.
By keeping the coal ash in an unlined capped site, Duke has an increased cost of monitoring the site for the next thirty years over the lined landfill option.
The hybrid solution also increases the risk of dam failure of the coal ash basin, which would flood Walnut Cove, Pine Hall and all the way down the Dan River to Stoneville over thirty miles away.
For more information visit https://theliliesproject.org/final-closure-plans