Charlotte City Council takes up issue of coal ash disposal - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Charlotte City Council takes up issue of coal ash disposal

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Duke Energy is now talking publicly about coal ash, but the conversations with Charlotte City Council revolved around the issue of how to remove it from the River Bend Power Plant.

The City and Duke are exploring the possibility of moving the coal ash by truck from Gaston County to land near Charlotte Douglas International.

Dave Mitchell is the director of environmental programs for Duke Energy.

He said, "Those techniques have been highly regarded by the local community and by the environmental action advocacy folks."

Before lobbying the city council, Duke Energy gave a private tour of the River Bend facility to a group of state lawmakers selling the same idea.

State Senator Joel Ford of Mecklenburg County was part of the group.

"We've got to hear more details and what can be some of the potential hazards of putting out at the airport," Ford said.

State Senator Jeff Tarte of Mecklenburg County was also part of the tour, and he wants to learn more about the idea.

"What we really want to do is reuse the material not have it stock piled and put into landfills, " Tarte said.

However, Governor Pat McCrory isn't totally sold on the idea of moving toxic coal ash from one county to another.

Governor McCrory said, "It's going somewhere, and wherever it goes we've got to do it in a safe and environmentally most affordable way we can. I'm open to any solution."

While city council members examined the materials that could be used to line such a landfill for coal ash, those studying the project say that it must be environmentally sound.

Hyong Yi is the Charlotte Assistant City Manager who continues conversations with Duke Energy and Charah Incorporated which is a disposal company specializing is waste disposal.

"The city of Charlotte will only do this is makes good environmental sense to do this, and if all of the environmental stake holders are in support of this proposal," Yi said.

Council members were told that moving coal ash from the River Bend Plant to Charlotte is a process that could take four to five years.

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