Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK) has completed ash basin related pipe inspections at its North Carolina coal power plants and shared those results with the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (NCDENR).
The third-party inspections demonstrate that the infrastructure is safe and performing as designed, but some areas of water infiltration were identified. Based on this assessment, the company is already developing engineering plans to repair or close certain pipes and to continue monitoring the others.
Following the Dan River incident in February, the company engaged outside engineering firms to conduct inspections of pipes at its active and retired coal plants.
"Our highest priority remains the safe operation of our facilities and the health and well-being of the communities and customers we serve," said Lynn Good, Duke Energy president and CEO. "These pipe inspections, and the steps we're taking to address any issues, demonstrate our ongoing commitment to safely managing coal ash at all of our basins."
In a news release today NCDENR confirmed "State officials did not identify any imminent public health or safety hazards..." The agency issued eight Notices of Deficiency and requested engineering assessments and repair plans for pipes at Marshall Steam Station in Catawba County, Riverbend and Allen Steam Stations in Gaston County, Buck Steam Station in Rowan County and Cliffside Steam Station in Rutherford and Cleveland counties.
In addition, NCDENR issued three inspection letters requesting additional information on pipes where no leaks were detected at the Buck, Riverbend and Marshall Steam Stations.
"We will continue working with the agency to secure the necessary permits to carry out our work and will continue to be responsive to state officials as we all address this important issue for North Carolina," said Good.
For more information about Duke Energy's ash management activities, its plans at specific plants and its response to the Dan River incident, see http://www.duke-energy.com/ash-management/.