PROSPERITY — Duke Energy has asked that the Town of Prosperity share in the payment of cleaning up the energy company’s coal ash ponds in South Carolina and North Carolina.
Mayor Derek Underwood recently shared with Town Council plans presented by Kevin O’Donnell, president of Nova Energy Consultants Inc., for the Duke Coal Ash Recommendation.
The Town of Prosperity could be asked to share the costs of retaining a lawyer to help Nova examine the accuracy of the coal ash costs Duke wants Prosperity to pay.
Duke is asking for a rate recovery, which would cause Prosperity’s electric rates to go up to pay Duke to clean up the coal ash ponds.
Duke Energy has set aside $2.2 billion in accounting reserves to clean up the spill, which poured more than 27 million gallons of coal ash and wastewater into the Dan River.
Underwood said discussion will take place on whether to intervene before a final decision is made or pay to clean up the ponds.
“We’ll do everything possible to make sure we are represented properly and take the proper steps to protect the interests of the town and Utility Department,” Underwood said.
In September 2014, the North Carolina Legislature passed the Coal Ash Management Act which requires closure to existing coal ash ponds, as well as wood conservation from wood ash to dry ash. Then in December 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency issued a Coal Combustion Residual providing national minimal criteria for landfills.
Nova Energy Consultants Inc. is a consulting firm that specializes in electric wholesale rate contracts, electric retail rate design issues and expert witness utility litigation support (rate cases).
• A resident praised council on the October Spooktacular but recommended having bathrooms more accessible for smaller children or signage pointing to open businesses with available bathrooms.
• The family of CJ Edwards will be the grand marshals in Prosperity’s Christmas Parade the first Sunday in December.
• Ed West reported for the Utility Department that work is in progress with water and sewer, roads, power outages and line repairs in Prosperity.
• Town Administrator Karen Livingston reported that the magnetic calendars that feature the schedules for trash pick-up and council meetings are ready for distribution.
• Livingston also reported that the Town of Prosperity received the park grant for a new walking track. This will be a secondary walking track.
Reach Kelly Duncan at 803-768-3123 ext. 1868 or on Twitter @TheNBOnews.