Thursday, May 19, 2022


U.S. mayors train to fend off increased threats and harassment, the Illinois governor signs a ban on 'Ghost Guns,' and death anxiety could play a role in Vladimir Putin's Ukraine invasion.


The White House asks Congress for more pandemic support, the House passes a domestic terrorism bill, Kansas' Supreme Court upholds a new congressional map, and a House committee hears testimony on abortion access.


From off-Broadway to West Virginia: the stories of the deadly Upper Big Branch mine explosion, baby formula is on its way back to grocery shelves, and federal funds will combat consolidation in meatpacking.

Public Sentiment Prevails in Fight for NC Coal-Ash Cleanup


Wednesday, April 3, 2019   

RALEIGH, N.C. - The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality ruled this week that Duke Energy must excavate its last coal impoundments in the state.

Concerns about coal ash and what Duke does with the sludge left over after coal is burned for fuel have been hot topics for years in the Tar Heel State. Thousands of residents near the coal-ash sites attended public meetings to voice their views about living with piles and ponds of what scientists say contain arsenic, lead, mercury and other toxins.

Amy Adams, program manager of the group Appalachian Voices, said the ruling affirms the state's commitment to protecting public health.

"The science clearly pointed to excavation as the only closure plan that would be protective of human health and protective of our communities," she said, "but we've seen in the past that, sometimes, the power of corporate polluters can override the science."

In a written statement, Duke Energy said it is "making strong progress to permanently close every ash basin in North Carolina in ways that fully protect people and the environment, while keeping costs down as much as possible for customers." The company has four months to submit its final plan to the DEQ.

The ruling challenges Duke Energy's original proposal to cap the sites. But since the storage ponds are unlined, and in some cases leaking, DEQ officials decided that digging up and removing the coal ash would be the only option to "best protect public health and the environment."

Drew Ball, state director of Environment North Carolina, called the decision a victory for those who came forward during the public comment period.

"People packed high school gymnasiums, people came out and made their voices heard on this, and it was a resounding, unified voice that we do not want this in our backyard," he said. "The fact that the Cooper administration has taken it to heart and is actually listening to communities is refreshing. It's exciting to see government actually being responsive to the concerns of citizens."

DEQ has said the coal ash must be moved to lined landfills. The facilities involved in the cleanups are Allen, Belews Creek, Cliffside/Rogers, Marshall, Mayo and Roxboro.

The DEQ order is online at, and the Duke Energy response is at

Reporting by North Carolina News Connection in association with Media in the Public Interest and funded in part by the Park Foundation.

get more stories like this via email

The Nature Coast Aquatic Preserve along with the Big Bend Seagrasses, St. Martins Marsh Aquatic Preserves and the Pinellas County Aquatic Preserve together protect the largest contiguous seagrass meadow in the Gulf of Mexico and the largest spring-fed seagrass habitat in the world. (Charlie Shoemaker for The Pew Charitable Trusts)


This afternoon, members of the public will get to have a say on the management plan for the first new aquatic preserve created in Florida in 32 years…

Social Issues

May is Community Action Month, and local agencies helping low-income families hope Congress signs off on a plan to bolster and modernize their …


After two decades of drought and with no relief in sight, many Utahns are looking for ways to conserve water, and for many residents, part of the …

As many as 80% of the homes lost to wildland fires could have been saved if their owners had followed a few simple fire-safe practices. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

May is Wildfire Awareness Month, and state officials are encouraging Coloradans to get up to speed on prevention and emergency-exit strategies if …

Social Issues

The White House is fielding pitches from top Democratic lawmakers about their desire to dramatically expand student loan forgiveness. While a …

Beyond school counselors, parents and private providers, mental-health advocates urge faith-based and other community groups to provide safe spaces for kids dealing with stress and anxiety. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

As the school year winds down, education leaders are shedding light on increased mental-health demands among students, including thoughts of suicide…

Social Issues

A new report found dishonest employers steal from some 213,000 people in Ohio each year by paying them less than the minimum wage; and it is just one …

Social Issues

Illinois has a new law banning the sale and possession of "ghost guns," essentially untraceable firearms that are sold in kit-form online or at gun sh…


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021