Duke Energy Corp Cleans Coal Ash Pits; Costs go into Billions

Duke Energy Corp Cleans Coal Ash Pits; Costs go into BillionsDuke Energy Corp, the Charlotte, North Carolina based electric power company, the largest in the United States will shift 1.5 million tons of coal burning residue to a contracted landfill almost hundred and thirty miles away in central Virginia. The company has built two miles of railroad track for connecting the excavation site to the existing railway tracks.

The energy company is digging up decades of residue piled from burning coal to produce electricity and is hauling them away from riverbanks, two years after the worst toxic coal-ash spills that the U. S history has witnessed. The by-product left after coal is burnt includes toxic materials like arsenic, lead, boron and chromium.

Giant earthmovers have been put to work, scooping, grinding and dropping seventeen tones of coal ash and dirt into the lined up railroad cars numbering in dozens standing at a site alongside the Virginia-North Carolina border.

The cleanup costs go into billions and utility customers might be the ones who would ultimately pay it.

When the ash and dirt from the pit located about quarter mile from the Dan River get cleared, they will be lined up with waterproof material to protect from heavy metals filtering into underground water or the nearby river.

Two years back, a disaster struck when a pipe burst at one of the pits. The incident made the federal officials re-examine ways in which they could plan to handle similar dangers better in future which might happen at basins across the country.