Belews Creek Steam Station has 91 groundwater monitoring wells, 46 of which have been polluted above federal advisory levels based on samples collected between January 06, 2011 and September 19, 2017. Groundwater at this site contains unsafe levels of cobalt, boron, lithium, manganese, arsenic, beryllium, molybdenum, radium, selenium, chromium and mercury.Site description
Duke Energy's Belews Creek Steam Station is located in Belews Creek, North Carolina. The plant began commercial operation in 1974 and can generate up to 2,240 megawatts (MW) of electricity from its two coal-fired units. The plant is located on Belews Lake, a man-made reservoir created in the 1970s to provide cooling water for the plant.
In 2009, the site's active ash pond, classified as having a high-hazard dam by the Environmental Protection Agency, had a total surface area of 324 acres and held approximately 12,654 acre-feet of waste. As of that time, Duke Energy estimated that the pond was approximately 70% full.
From 1974 to 1986, the station discharged wastewater with high selenium concentrations (150-200 ug/L) to Belews Lake. As a result, 19 species of fish were eliminated from the lake. In March 2014, the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources cited Duke Energy for permit violations related to storm water at the site.
Belews Creek Steam Station is among the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's list of potential damage cases, indicating that it has potentially polluted groundwater or surface water at levels which threaten human health and the environment. There are three units regulated under the CCR rule: FGD Landfill, Craig Road Landfill, and Active Ash Basin, which are located southeast, southwest, and northwest of the plant, respectively. You can find the industry-reported data here. For more information on the Belews Creek Steam Station, see EIP’s 2019 National Coal Ash Report.