A coal ash landfill approved in June for Chatham County will require an extra public hearing Wednesday to allow the developers to modify their state permit.
The proposed permit modification includes a sediment and erosion control plan and would allow developers Green Meadow and Charah to disturb an additional acre of land to build a rail spur. The rail spur will be used to deliver ash to the site at the former Brickhaven clay mine.
The hearing will be held at 6 p.m. at the Chatham County Historic Courthouse, 9 Hillsboro St. in Pittsboro.
The public comment period for the proposed modified permit ends Aug. 30.
Written comments can be mailed to: DEMLR Mining Program, 1612 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, N.C., 27699-1612. They may also be emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org, with “Brickhaven” in the email’s subject line.
The coal ash fill site in Moncure was approved in June by the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources. But the developer began working on the project before obtaining storm water permits, triggering enforcement actions by DENR and by Chatham County officials. The operators then submitted an erosion and sediment control plan to Chatham officials, and the county approved the plan.
The 145-acre Brickhaven site is designed to hold up to 12 million tons of coal ash.
The landfill will be built with plastic liners and leachate monitoring to detect and repair accidental leaks. Coal ash contains arsenic, lead, selenium and other heavy metals that pose a health risk to people and wildlife when exceeding safety limits set by environmental regulators.
Duke is currently storing more than 150 million tons of coal ash at 14 power plant sites in North Carolina, all of which are contaminating local groundwater, and some contamination has reached local drinking wells. The state legislature last year required Duke Energy to move ash from four sites that lawmakers deemed high-priority to lined landfills by August 2019.