The Southern Environmental Law Center

Posted May 7, 2015

On the banks of the Cape Fear and other major rivers across the South, utilities store millions of tons of coal ash in unlined lagoons. These primitive pits discharge toxins such as arsenic and selenium into local waters, and they present a constant risk of a catastrophic spill. With the support of Louis Bacon and The Orton Foundation, The Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) is working to clean up the coal ash stored by Duke Energy at its L.V. Sutton Plant outside Wilmington and its Cape Fear plant in Chatham County, over 10 million tons of ash. Legal action by SELC has forced the state to act, and due largely to SELC’s efforts, Duke Energy has now made a public commitment to clean up the Sutton site. SELC continues to represent citizens in legal proceedings at both sites, and across the state, to make sure that Duke and North Carolina authorities follow through on their commitments.