Virginia provides a template for NC on coal ash cleanup

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And it includes making cap-in-place schemes illegal:

The plan would require Dominion to excavate toxic coal ash from unlined and leaky storage ponds along the James, Elizabeth and Potomac rivers and recycle at least 25 percent to “beneficial use” as bricks or concrete, and store the rest in permitted, lined landfills. The plan aims to limit the amount of removal costs passed on to ratepayers, who eventually would pay about $5 more a month, lawmakers said.

Two years ago, lawmakers imposed a moratorium on an approved closure method called “cap-in-place” and directed Dominion to explore alternatives. Cap-in-place has been criticized as inadequate.

Because it *is* inadequate. With no bottom barrier, groundwater seeps in, and then carries contaminants straight down and into rivers and lakes. Each location has individual characteristics that make cap-in-place either somewhat risky or downright crazy, and as SELC has learned in Georgia, utilities simply can't be trusted to judge the difference:

Officials with SELC said in at least some cases, the coal ash ponds appear to be sitting in groundwater, and two of the 10 coal ash ponds were also found to be in unstable areas due to porous soil conditions.

“Georgia Power’s coal ash ponds were built in the worst places possible — near streams, lakes, floodplains, next to rivers, and right above groundwater, and we now know that at least 10 of its ponds sit too close to the groundwater aquifer,” SELC Senior Attorney Chris Bowers said. “Where Georgia Power plans to just cap many of its unlined coal ash ponds in place, the utility’s own disclosures show the danger this ill-advised strategy poses to Georgia communities.”

Aaron Mitchell, general manager of environmental affairs at Georgia Power, noted that the company made public its plans in 2015 to close all the ash ponds, including at Plant Mitchell in southwest Georgia, and has not hidden anything from the public on the pond closure process.

It appears this guy attended the Duke Energy School of Obfuscation, and graduated with honors.

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