Duke Energy creates coal ash management, advisory board

Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK) has announced the creation of two groups to help guide the company’s strategy around coal ash storage solutions and coal combustion products. This news comes after the Feb. 2 Dan River coal ash spill and plans to close 32 coal ash basins in North Carolina.

“We are strengthening our operations and transitioning to ash basin closure strategies, including implementing North Carolina’s aggressive coal ash management law and complying with expected new federal standards around power plant waste streams,” said Lynn Good, Duke Energy President and CEO.

The National Ash Management Advisory Board (NAMAB), which is managed by the University of North Carolina (UNCC), will include: 

  • Dr. John Daniels, P.E., professor and chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UNCC. Daniels will lead the board;
  • Dr. Susan E. Burns, P.E., Georgia Power Distinguished Professor, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology. Burns previously served as a member of the National Research Council Committee to Assess the Performance of Engineered Waste Containment Barriers;
  • Robert M. Deacy Sr., senior vice president, Projects, Tennessee Valley Authority;
  • Dr. Jeffrey Evans, P.E., professor of civil and environmental engineering, Bucknell University. Evans co-authored a textbook on hazardous waste management;
  • Bob Jewell, research scientist for Environmental and Coal Technologies at the Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER), University of Kentucky. Jewell has extensive experience with ash ponds, ash sampling and ash beneficiation;
  • Dr. Garrick Louis, associate professor of Systems and Information Engineering, University of Virginia. Louis was formerly a  policy fellow at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA);
  • Dr. Krishna Reddy, P.E., professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Illinois;
  • Dr. Joyce Tsuji, board-certified toxicologist and principal scientist, Exponent Inc. Tsuji is also a fellow of the Academy of Toxicological Sciences and worked with TVA during the Kingston ash spill cleanup; and
  • Dr. William E. Wolfe, P.E., professor emeritus, Ohio State University.

The Coal Combustion Product (CCP) organization will oversee ash basin facility improvements, provide oversight of wastewater and cooling pond maintenance, and manage beneficial re-use opportunities for coal ash and synthetic gypsum. George Hamrick, who most recently served as site vice president for the Brunswick Nuclear Plant in Southport, North Carolina, will lead the organization.

“Our actions demonstrate Duke Energy’s ongoing commitment to doing the right thing for our customers and the communities we serve,” said Good. “The important work we’re doing to improve the management of coal combustion products, including closing dozens of ash basins with input from a national advisory board of experts, represents the standard of excellence we expect from all of our operations.”

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