Cape Fear Steam Plant 1985 Pond

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{{#badges:CoalSwarm}} Cape Fear Steam Plant 1985 Pond is a coal ash disposal site associated with Cape Fear Steam Plant, owned and operated by Progress Energy near Moncure, North Carolina.

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Site data

Information below derived from EPA's Coal Ash Survey database;[1] GPS coordinates courtesy of Earthjustice researchers.

  • Owner: Progress Energy Carolinas
  • Parent company: Progress Energy
  • Associated coal plant: Cape Fear Steam Plant
  • Location: Moncure, NC
  • GPS coordinates: 35.5900, -79.0400
  • Hazard potential: Significant
  • Year commissioned: 1985
  • Year(s) expanded:
  • Material(s) stored: Fly ash, Bottom ash, Boiler slag
  • Professional Engineer (PE) designed?: Yes
  • PE constructed?: Yes
  • PE monitored?: No
  • Significant deficiencies identified: None
  • Corrective measures: None
  • Surface area (acres): Confidential
  • Storage capacity (acre feet): Confidential
  • Unit Height (feet): Confidential
  • Historical releases: None
  • Additional notes:

Associated coal waste sites

Coal waste in the United States

A January 2009 study by The New York Times following the enormous TVA coal ash spill found that there are more than 1,300 surface impoundments across the U.S. containing coal waste, with some sites as large as 1,500 acres.[2] Also in January 2009, an Associated Press study found that 156 coal-fired power plants store ash in surface ponds similar to the one that ruptured at Kingston Fossil Plant. The states with the most storage in coal ash in ponds are Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Georgia and Alabama. The AP's analysis found that in 2005, 721 power plants generating at least 100 MW of electricity produced 95.8 million tons of coal ash, about 20 percent of which - or almost 20 million tons - ended up in surface ponds. The rest of the ash winds up in landfills or is sold for other uses.[3] In June 2009, EPA released its list of 44 "high hazard potential" coal waste sites, which included 12 sites in North Carolina, 9 in Arizona, 6 in Kentucky, 6 in Ohio, and 4 in West Virginia.[4] The full list is available here.

Cape Fear ranked 81st on list of most polluting power plants in terms of coal waste

In January 2009, Sue Sturgis of the Institute of Southern Studies compiled a list of the 100 most polluting coal plants in the United States in terms of coal combustion waste (CCW) stored in surface impoundments like the one involved in the TVA Kingston Fossil Plant coal ash spill.[5] The data came from the EPA's Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) for 2006, the most recent year available.[6]

Cape Fear Steam Plant ranked number 81 on the list, with 334,076 pounds of coal combustion waste released to surface impoundments in 2006.[5]

Study finds dangerous level of hexavalent chromium at Cape Fear coal waste site

A report released by EarthJustice and the Sierra Club in early February 2011 stated that there are many health threats associated with a toxic cancer-causing chemical found in coal ash waste called hexavalent chromium. The report specifically cited 29 sites in 17 states where the contamination was found. The information was gathered from existing EPA data on coal ash and included locations in Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Massachusetts, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virgina and Wisconsin. In North Carolina, the Dan River Steam Station in Eden, the Asheville Plant in Asheville and the Cape Fear Steam Plant in Montcure all were reported as having high levels of chromium seeping into groundwater.[7]

According to the report, hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)) was reported at the Cape Fear unlined coal waste pond sites at 100 ppb (parts per billion) - 5,000 times the proposed California drinking water goals and at the federal maximum drinking water standard.[7]

As a press release about the report read:

Hexavalent chromium first made headlines after Erin Brockovich sued Pacific Gas & Electric because of poisoned drinking water from hexavalent chromium. Now new information indicates that the chemical has readily leaked from coal ash sites across the U.S. This is likely the tip of the iceberg because most coal ash dump sites are not adequately monitored.[8]

According to the report, the electric power industry is the leading source of chromium and chromium compounds released into the environment, representing 24 percent of releases by all industries in 2009.[7]

Citizen groups

Resources

References

  1. Coal Ash Survey Results, Environmental Protection Agency, accessed December 2009.
  2. Shaila Dewan, "Hundreds of Coal Ash Dumps Lack Regulation," New York Times, January 7, 2009.
  3. Dina Cappiello, "Toxic Coal Ash Piling up in Ponds in 32 States," Associated Press, January 9, 2009.
  4. Shaila Dewan, "E.P.A. Lists ‘High Hazard’ Coal Ash Dumps," New York Times, June 30, 2009.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Sue Sturgis, "Coal's ticking timebomb: Could disaster strike a coal ash dump near you?," Institute for Southern Studies, January 4, 2009.
  6. TRI Explorer, EPA, accessed January 2009.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 "EPA’s Blind Spot: Hexavalent Chromium in Coal Ash" Earthjustice & Sierra Club, February 1, 2011.
  8. "Coal ash waste tied to cancer-causing chemicals in water supplies" Alicia Bayer, Examiner.com, February 1, 2011.

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