Public Input Sought On Closure Plans For Coal Ash Ponds At H.F. Lee Plant

Feb 11, 2020

The H.F. Lee plant in Goldsboro was retired in 2012. However, about 6.2 million tons of coal ash remain in four basins at the site.
Credit Duke Energy

The N.C. Department of Environmental Quality is seeking public comment on closure plans for the four coal ash impoundments at the H.F. Lee plant in Goldsboro. 

Under the Coal Ash Management Act of 2016, Duke Energy submitted draft closure plans to DEQ describing the complete excavation and removal of an estimated 6.2 million tons of coal ash at the H.F. Lee plant.  Sarah Young-Perkins, Public Information Officer with the N.C. Division of Water Resources said the H.F. Lee plant was selected as one of three beneficiation projects in North Carolina where coal ash at the site will be used to produce cementitious products.

“The STAR (Staged Turbulent Air Reactor) technology is a thermal process that reduces the amount of unburnt carbon in the ash and it transforms it into a high-quality product for use in the concrete industry,” said Young-Perkins.

The STAR system, which would be completed later this year, is capable of processing 300,000 tons of coal ash each year. 

“Duke’s draft closure plan for H.F. Lee estimates that the STAR technology facility would be complete in 2020, excavation [of coal ash] would be complete by 2029, and that a final site restoration would occur in 2030.”

DEQ will hold a public meeting Tuesday evening at Wayne Community College at 6pm.  The deadline to submit comments on the closure plans is March 3rd.