Groundwater Monitoring Reveals Widespread Radioactivity at Duke Energy Coal Plants​

Data shows high levels of radioactivity at 11 of 18 plants

Today is the deadline for coal-fired power plants to post the results of their groundwater monitoring under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2015 rule regulating the storage and disposal of coal ash. EPA required such monitoring to determine the extent to which coal ash impoundments and landfills were contaminating groundwater.

The results confirm the widespread groundwater contamination caused by coal ash around the country. In particular, Duke Energy’s results reveal startlingly high levels of radioactivity at 11 out of 18 plants.

Contrary to industry practices, Duke Energy did not summarize its groundwater monitoring results in a table, instead burying results in more than 20,000 pages of lab results. Earthjustice Senior Attorney Lisa Evans took a closer look at the data, and found what Duke Energy might have been trying to hide: high levels of radioactivity at a majority of its plants.

“The way Duke Energy presented its data showed a clear intent to obscure the findings,” said Lisa Evans. “Despite Duke’s efforts, we found that the data reveal levels of radium in groundwater that far exceed EPA’s drinking water standards and that could clearly harm people who use […]

More about Coal Ash Ponds, Coal-based Power Plants, and Groundwater Pollution:

New Estimate Finds Less Fresh Groundwater in U.S. Than Previously Assumed

Global coal industry using as much water as a billion people each year

New Tests Reveal 15 out of 15 of Indiana’s Coal Ash Ponds Are Leaking

Toxic waste from coal ash pits leaching into Illinois’ only National Scenic River

Walking in Memphis — Above a Coal Ash Cesspool

Coal Ash Pollution Threatens Groundwater At Western Kentucky Power Plant

Pennsylvania watershed contaminated with radioactive material and endocrine-disrupting chemicals

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