• 73°

Editorial: Next decade will be about coal ash action in Dukeville area

In Rowan County, most major concerns ended years ago about water contamination and  how Duke Energy would handle the tons of coal ash stored in the Dukeville area.

A court settlement addressed cleanup concerns — requiring full excavation and/or recycling. State legislation required Duke to provide clean water to local residents, which took the form of a water line in Rowan County.

But much of what Rowan residents have seen in the news or in their mailbox, if they live close enough to the coal ash ponds, only involves planning for the future rather than action. If the previous decade has been one focused on water quality and closure plans, the next will be one in which the company will carry out what it has planned with state regulators.

At the end of December, Duke Energy submitted a closure plan for Buck Steam Station and it spells out details of what will be a massive operation. A judge approved a final agreement between Duke Energy and state regulators last week.

Importantly, the company says a recycling unit should be ready to operate in the spring. The unit will reduce the amount of unburnt carbon in the ash and transform it into a product that can be used in the concrete industry — think road construction or airport runways.

The total amount of coal ash to be excavated is 6.7 million tons or the weight of tens of millions of average-weight American men and women. The massive total is split between three basins and five total impoundment structures that are unlined and up to 70 feet deep.

The total will be excavated and moved to a lined landfill or recycled by 2029, according closure plans. The company says its recycling unit can handle 4 million tons of coal ash if given 10 years for processing, leaving an estimated 2.68 million tons “which would potentially require handling by another process.”

All of that work and Chewy.com’s fulfillment center on Long Ferry Road should prompt Dukeville-area residents to expect increased traffic on Long Ferry Road.

One year later, in the fourth quarter of 2030, Duke Energy says it will complete restoration of the coal ash ponds and “restore much of the historical natural valley channels.” Not clear yet is what the company plans to do with that restored land, but it could build goodwill among Dukeville-area residents by soliciting their recommendations about what to do next, especially if the land won’t be needed for power generation.

Comments

Crime

Man charged for stowing away on Norfolk Southern train, impeding railroad operations

Local

Group will protest treatment of Georgia woman during 2019 traffic stop

Crime

Man overdoses at Piedmont Correctional Institute

Crime

Sheriff’s Office: Two men escape from jail, found in bushes on Fulton Street

Ask Us

Ask Us: When will North Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue be resurfaced?

Local

Political Notebook: Rowan’s lawmakers pass 140 bills into the opposite chamber before deadline

Local

Police chief to present use of force policy; city manager to present 2021-22 budget

Crime

Blotter: Rockwell man arrested on charges of felony larceny, possession of stolen vehicle

Coronavirus

CDC director says mask turnaround based solely on science

News

Catawba College hosts three in-person commencement ceremonies

Local

With high case loads causing numerous staff departures, Child Protective Services seeks more positions

Education

Livingstone College graduates celebrate ‘crossing the finish line’ during commencement celebration

Coronavirus

Rowan sees 4 new COVID-19 deaths as mask mandate lifted, vaccines administered continue decline

Local

Spencer is latest town updating its development ordinance

Local

Salisbury native Kristy Woodson Harvey makes NY Times bestseller list

Local

Board of Commissioners will convene for third time in May

Business

Biz Roundup: Salisbury, Kannapolis among recipients of Region of Excellence Awards

Local

Cheerleading team competes at Disney

Education

Salisbury High to celebrate football, swimming champions with parade

High School

High school girls soccer: Isley, Webb lead all-county team

Local

Spencer awarded $10,000 to develop trails at Stanback Forest

Books

‘Tails and Tales’ coming to library this summer

Local

Public Records: March Deeds

Entertainment

Salisbury Symphony’s ‘Return to the Concert Hall’ available May 24-31