North Carolina permits new ash storage at Mayo coal plant

The North Carolina Division of Waste Management on July 10 issued an operating permit for phase one of a dry coal ash landfill at Duke Energy Progress’ Mayo Steam Electric Plant, located north of Roxboro in Person County.

The issuance of the operating permit comes four years after plans for the landfill were put in motion. The Mayo coal ash landfill will be accepting only dry coal combustion by-products generated by Duke Energy Progress, the agency noted.

The landfill was constructed adjacent to the Mayo plant and features a double high-density polyethylene liner with leak detection, groundwater monitoring and leachate collection systems.

The leak detection system helps determine if liquid is present between the two liners. If liquids above allowable levels are detected, a corrective measure response plan would be initiated. Groundwater monitoring wells are sampled and reported to the division at least semi-annually. The leachate collection system serves to remove any precipitation which has moved through the coal ash, keeping it away from the bottom liners and groundwater. 

All three features are required by the facility’s permit to prevent contamination from making its way into groundwater.

The operating permit for phase one of the Mayo landfill is issued for a period of five years. Continued operation will require a permit renewal. Construction of the landfill was completed in June 2014. Phase one consists of 31 acres of a total 103.8-acre proposed landfill footprint. The gross capacity of phase one is 1,592,000 cubic yards.

The single-unit, 727-MW Mayo plant began commercial operation in 1983.

Coal ash storage has been a hot-button issue in North Carolina since a major ash spill earlier this year at Duke Energy‘s (NYSE: DUK) shut Dan River power plant.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.