Duke Energy is proposing to add more bromide pollution at its Marshall facility, despite the fact that bromide has caused cancer-causing toxins to appear in treated drinking water supplies downstream in Charlotte and other communities in North Carolina as outlined in recent sworn testimony by Duke Energy and in the Joint Factual Statement in Duke Energy’s criminal plea deal.
In its application for a new air permit, Duke Energy proposes to add bromide into its mixat its coal ash site on Lake Norman and upstream of several drinking water intakes despite the availability of better, widely-used methods to control mercury pollution from Duke Energy’s smokestacks.
The Southern Environmental Law Center submitted comments on April 28 to the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality on behalf of Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation, Clean Air Carolina, and Medical Advocates for Healthy Air urging the use of a widely used alternative to control mercury pollution at Duke Energy’s Marshall facility and avoidance of more bromide given its health consequences and burden placed on downstream communities. Duke Energy’s Marshall facility sits on the banks of Lake Norman, upstream of Charlotte, N.C. and several drinking water intakes that over 1.2 million people rely on.
“The people of Charlotte and Belmont deserve to be protected from Duke Energy’s toxic air emissions,” said June Blotnick, executive director, Clean Air Carolina. “Coal-burning power plants across the country use modern, protective pollution controls called baghouses—why would our Department of Environmental Quality let Duke Energy get away with anything less?”
“Duke Energy’s toxic air emissions can cause learning disabilities, lower intelligence, asthma, and many other problems,” said Laura Wenzel of Medical Advocates for Healthy Air. “If the Department of Environmental Quality requires Duke Energy to install better pollution controls, people in nearby communities can spend less time in the hospital and more time enjoying their lives.”
We cannot keep mixing more dangerous compounds into the toxic mix in order to burn and manage coal emissions.