The North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has issued notices of violation for five other Duke Energy power plants, as part of its ongoing probe into the company’s coal ash ponds, for failure to obtain a federally mandated National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) stormwater permit.
The five new violations are against the Belews Creek steam station in Rockingham county, Cliffside steam station in Rutherford county, Lee Steam electric plant in Wayne county, Roxboro Steam electric power plant in Person county, and Sutton Steam electric plant in New Hanover county.
These notices are in addition to two issued for violations at the Dan River power plant in Eden where a failed 48-inch stormwater pipe caused a massive spill of coal ash into the Dan River.
Notices for the stormwater violations at all six facilities cited are to be responded by the Duke Energy within 30 days, DENR said.
The company has 15 days to respond to the notice related to the wastewater violations at the Dan River facility.
After the coal ash spill, regulators with the North Carolina DENR started a review of permit status of all 14 Duke Energy facilities across the state.
DENR determined that Duke Energy had neither applied for nor obtained stormwater permits for six power plants, including the Dan River steam station.
DENR secretary John Skvarla said that the agency has decided to make sure that all of these facilities are in compliance with state and federal law.
"We’re doing everything in our power to prevent environmental disasters like what we’ve seen at the Dan River. We are committed to protecting public health and the natural resources of our state," Skvarla said.
The NPDES Stormwater Program governs stormwater discharges from facilities that have industrial activities, which also include steam electric generating facilities.