Officials with the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality have established health-protective performance standards for the water filtration systems to be installed in eligible homes near Duke Energy’s 14 coal ash facilities.
Duke Energy is required by state law to provide either water filtration systems or hookups to public water for each household that has a drinking water supply well within half a mile of a coal ash pond’s compliance boundary.
“We want every family in North Carolina to have access to safe, clean drinking water,” said Michael Regan, secretary of the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality. “We’ve set performance standards for coal ash contaminants to ensure that families who use these filtration systems will have water that meets or exceeds federal and state standards.”
DEQ has established performance standards for water filtration systems provided by Duke Energy that adhere to DEQ’s health-based groundwater quality standards. The new performance standards protect public health by meeting or exceeding federal drinking water standards. In cases where there is not a groundwater or drinking water standard for a contaminant, DEQ used its proposed interim standard to ensure the safety of the drinking water. To see the performance standards, go to:https://ncdenr.s3.amazonaws.com/s3fs-public/Coal%20Ash/documents/Coal%20Ash/Water%20Testing/Duke%20Water%20Filtration%20FAQ%20FINAL%20Use%20this.pdf.
“Clean drinking water is essential to public health, and our department will continue to work with DEQ to provide accurate and timely information about drinking water safety,” said Mandy Cohen, secretary of the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.
Under state law, Duke Energy must establish permanent replacement water supplies for households that have drinking water wells near the coal ash impoundments by Oct. 15, 2018. To meet that requirement, Duke Energy intends to provide permanent alternative water supplies to about 900 households statewide. Of those households, Duke Energy is proposing to provide about 20 percent of them with water filtration systems. The other households will be connected to a public water system, have not selected an alternative water source or decided not to receive alternative water.