Duke Energy officials told the South Carolina Public Service Commission on Wednesday that it did not have major problems with stored coal ash during the hurricane.
Vice President of Central Services Joe Miller said the utility was in the process of containing coal ash when the storm hit.
“At our Sutton (North Carolina) facility… we’re currently excavating the ash from the pond at Sutton and placing it in a landfill,” he told commissioners.
Coal ash is a byproduct of burning coal at power plants. While it is not considered hazardous material by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), it does contain toxic metals such as mercury and arsenic.
Miller said there was some erosion on that landfill during Hurricane Florence. “The vast majority of that ash stayed within the landfill perimeter or on our property,” Miller said about 25 to 30 feet of ash went onto a neighboring property.
There are concerns that another landfill operated by state-owned utility Santee Cooper could be affected by rising floodwaters in Conway. The utility is working to secure the landfill amid concerns that forecasted water levels would overtop its dike and potentially contaminate the Waccamaw River.