Action of the Week: Tell Duke Energy to Clean Up Their Toxic Coal Ash

Apr 25, 2013· 0 MIN READ
Callie Spaide is Participant Media’s Manager of Digital Advocacy and Social Impact.

After 84 years, the Riverbend Steam Station, a coal power plant, is expected to close this month. The plant was a source of continual water and air pollution in North Carolina.

Since the plant sits on a water source for 860,000 residents, this seems like a big win for the environment, right? Yes and no. Even closed, Duke Energy’s plant will still cause long-term environmental damage unless action is taken.

Over many decades, Duke Energy dumped tons of coal ash—a byproduct of coal production—into 551 unlined ponds and, even with the plant closing, there are no plans to clean them up. Arsenic and other dangerous carcinogens are seeping from these ponds into the Catawba River, one of America’s most endangered rivers. The leaking chemicals are threatening fish populations and water quality for local communities who use the river as their main source of fresh water.

American Rivers is pressuring the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources to take action and force Duke Energy to clean up these ponds, before they destroy the Catawba River. You can support their work by adding your name to their petition and telling Duke Energy that they don’t have the right to destroy the environment for future generations.