H.F. Lee Steam Electric Plant has 14 groundwater monitoring wells, 13 of which have been polluted above federal advisory levels based on samples collected between December 13, 2010 and October 17, 2014. Groundwater at this site contains unsafe levels of manganese, boron, arsenic and lead.Site description
Duke Energy's H.F. Lee Steam Electric Plant began operating in 1954 on the Neuse River, three miles upstream of Goldsboro, North Carolina. The plant is part of Duke Energy's H.F. Lee Energy Complex. All coal and oil-fired units at the plant were retired in 2012. A new 920MW natural gas-fired combined cycle plant was built at the site and began operating in December 2012. The coal plant was demolished in 2014.
At the time the plant closed, it had one active ash pond and three inactive ash ponds. The North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources classified the active ash pond as having a high-hazard dam due to its potential to cause severe environmental damage if it failed. The active ash pond had a surface area of 143 acres and could hold up to 3,194,400 cubic yards of coal combustion waste. In August 2013, the State of North Carolina entered into a consent decree with Duke Energy regarding seeps and other un-permitted discharges to groundwater from Lee and other sites.
H.F. Lee Steam Electric Plant 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. For more information regarding the Lee Station, see EIP's 2010 report, Out of Control and visit SoutheastCoalAsh.org.