LETTER: We’re not done yet

May. 06, 2015 @ 04:58 AM

To the Editor:

It’s not a “done deal” in Rockingham County. Residents there will not be getting any coal ash because it would violate their civil rights. Is it OK for Duke Energy to poison the residents in Colon and Osgood? Don’t they have any civil rights? Are they not entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness guaranteed by our constitution?

In Thursday’s paper (4-30-15) Duke Energy officials announced that they would build landfills at Eden and Wilmington. When Duke Energy held their meeting at the Lee County Arts Center, I asked them why they couldn’t build landfills closer to the affected sites, instead of moving it hundreds of miles away. I was told it would take three years to build a landfill and they didn’t have time. They had to get rid of it immediately. Now, suddenly they do have time to build two landfills. Wow! Duke Energy has the power to solve its own problems without the legislators help.

According to an online article called, “Closing the Floodgates,” technology already exist to make coal ash safe. According to the profit to stop all forms of air and water pollution and the cost to rate payers would be only $6 per year. Their lobbyists have fought long and hard to keep these policies from being approved because they claimed they would be too expensive. In the meantime, millions of people have gotten sick and countless others have died from coal ash health hazards. Duke Energy refuses to admit that it is their fault because to do so would open the floodgates to future lawsuits. Two years ago they promised the residents in Flemington, near Wilmington, a new water line to replace the 120 wells that were ruined. They are still waiting.

Duke Energy claims that the landfills in Lee and Chatham counties would use industry proven containment and monitoring technologies. These dry landfills have never been tested, so how can they make this claim? Are they talking about the liners that are approved for household garbage only? We have asked for the first field test of these liners to be made at the Asheville Airport site. We are still waiting for a reply from Duke Energy to pay for this environmental impact study. I guess they are too busy paying for more useless commercials, since they know you can’t buy your energy from anyone else.

This whole project goes against scientific practices. Some liners failed after just 12 months. They are designed to last 20 years. Then what? Where will they take our coal ash?

Arlene Jackson