Duke Energy is now trying to increase the power bills for Charlotte area residents to pay to clean up their coal ash ponds.
In February 2014, up to 39,000 tons of coal ash , possibly containing lead, mercury, and arsenic, spilled from Duke Energy’s retired Dan River coal-fired power plant in Northern North Carolina. Duke Energy has stated that the cost for the Dan River cleanup will come from company and its shareholders, but that any costs related to other actions shown necessary for long-term coal ash solutions at Duke’s 33 basins in the state, would most likely be passed on to it’s electric grid customers.
“Well, customers are not paying at all for the incident that happened in Dan River,” commented Duke Energy spokesman Tim Pettit. “What customers are paying for is the safe closure of our ash basins, which are a result of these coal-fired plants that have been serving our customers for decades.”
Here’s an aerial shot of the coal ash ponds next to Charlotte’s Mountain Island Lake:
Coal Ash Ponds at the decommissioned Riverbend Steam Station. These toxic ponds are right next to the Catawba River, less than a mile upstream from the main drinking water intake for Charlotte. They were first built in 1950, cover 69 acres and contain 5.1 million tons of ash. Flight for @catawbariverkeeper, facilitated by @southwings, to monitor ash removal progress.
The company is now planning to ask the North Carolina’s Utilities Commission for permission to raise their rates around August 25 for customers. The rate hike is expected to be around 15%.
The state will plan public hearings before the Utilities Commission will be allowed to make their final decision.