Stormwater from coal pile spills into Broad River, Duke Energy says

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Duke Energy's Rogers Energy Complex (Cliffside Steam Station)_235130

MOORESBORO, N.C. (WBTV) – Between 15,000 and 50,000 gallons of stormwater from Duke Energy’s Rogers Energy Complex (Cliffside Steam Station) coal pile spilled into the Broad River, Duke Energy said Wednesday.

Duke Energy said the recent severe weather and heavy rainfall caused stormwater to overflow at the facility, located in Mooresboro, North Carolina. The spill was noticed during a routine inspection of the plant property Tuesday.

“The inspection determined that stormwater had come into contact with the site’s coal pile, an area where unburned coal is stored for the operating plant. The stormwater that reached the river did not contact coal ash,” Duke Energy said in a press release.

The Catawba Riverkeeper shared the stormwater spill update on Facebook Wednesday morning, saying the coal pile spilled in the river in Cleveland County, just west of Mecklenburg County.

The stormwater runoff has since been stopped, Duke Energy says, “and steps have been taken to prevent the issue from occurring again.”

Sam Perkins with the Catawba Riverkeeper says this is not the first flooding issue at the facility.

“Duke has fought to keep its sites throughout the state in place despite their worst-possible location – high on the banks of these flood-prone waterways, which also serve as drinking water sources downstream. These sites continue to age, but even upon knowing of problems at its sites, Duke Energy has failed to responsibly maintain them,” Perkins said.

Duke Energy says they haven’t seen any impact on the Broad River.

The N.C. Department of Environmental Quality has been notified.

WBTV On Your Side Investigates looked into a coal ash pond near Cliffside last month. New tests found water wells with elevated levels of a toxin commonly associated with coal ash in water wells located up to a mile away from a nearby coal ash pond.

The test results came as homeowners and environmental advocates urged Governor Pat McCrory to veto a bill that would require Duke Energy to provide an alternate water supply to houses within a half mile of Duke’s 24 coal ash ponds located across the state.

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