The announcement brings to 24 the total number of Carolinas basins the company is prepared to close by removing ash from its current storage locations at each power plant.
The company recommends excavating five basins at the Cape Fear Plant (Moncure), five basins at H.F. Lee Plant (Goldsboro), one basin at W.H. Weatherspoon Plant (Lumberton), and one inactive basin at the Cliffside Steam Station (Mooresboro).
The majority of the excavated ash announced would be relocated to lined structural fills in Chatham and Lee counties in North Carolina.
The company says it is continuing to study the remaining 12 basins in North Carolina “to identify smart and effective ways to close those facilities, while minimizing overall environmental impact.”
It says the remaining 12 basins could be candidates for a broader range of closure options, including an approach that consolidates the ash on site, caps it with a durable and impermeable liner, and protects groundwater.
In May, three Duke subsidiaries pleaded guilty to nine criminal violations of the Clean Water Act at several of its North Carolina facilities and agreed to pay a $68 million criminal fine and spend $34 million on environmental projects — the result of the massive coal ash spill from the Dan River steam station into the Dan River near Eden, North Carolina, in February 2014.