Should I Stay or Should I Go: Coal Ash in North Carolina

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By Eric Edwards, Assistant Professor; Sara Sutherland, Teaching Assistant Professor; Roger von Haefen, Associate Professor Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, NC State University

Coal has seen a recent, rapid decline as a source of electricity in North Carolina. Unfortunately, coal’s legacy lives on in ash ponds and landfills scattered across the state.

In February 2014, 39,000 tons of coal ash spilled through a storm pipe break at the Dan River Steam Station in Eden, North Carolina. Awareness of the potential environmental and health impacts of coal ash skyrocketed.

Dr. Eric Edwards
Dr. Sara Sutherland
Dr. Roger von Haefen

In this NC State Economist, we offer an economist’s perspective on North Carolina’s coal ash challenges – and potential solutions.

Topics include:

  • How Did We Get Here?
  • Where Are Coal Ash Sites Located?
  • Environment and Health Effects of Coal Ash
  • Spills, Breaches and Conflicting Data
  • Possible Solutions

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