The Los Angeles Times and several other media outlets are reporting today that the coal ash pond at Duke Energy’s retired Cape Fear plant near Moncure is under investigation by state regulators after wastewater pumping trucks were spotted at the site last week. (Read the N&O’s coverage today here)
According to the Times, the pumps were discovered by Waterkeeper Alliance, an environmental group that was documenting possible seepage along the Cape Fear River. The organization believes the Moncure ponds are a hazard because federal officials have rated them in “poor condition.”
“They were trying to hide it. It was just dumb luck that we caught them at it,” Peter Harrison, staff attorney for the alliance, told the LA Times.
The ponds are 13 miles from downtown Sanford, and that portion of the Cape Fear is upstream from the city, as well as Dunn and Fayetteville. Built in 1923, the Cape Fear plant closed in 2012. Of course, all of this is coming to light after the massive coal ash spill that coated 70 miles of the Dan River with toxic sludge last month. Duke Energy reported said it will take at least two years to clean up the Dan River site, and sites near Asheville and Charlotte.