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Every year the Buck Steam Station is responsible for:
The Buck Steam Station, located near the town of Salisbury, is one of Duke Energy’s coal-fired power plants in North Carolina. Remarkably, Buck is still online despite first making power in 1926. That this plant is still operating is evidence of Duke’s lack of good-faith in moving to a renewable energy future.
All of this is only on the burning side -- the entire life cycle of coal from mining to washing to burning to impoundment is deadly. Marshall sources its coal from Central Appalachian coal mines and is connected to Mountaintop Removal Mining (MTR). In MTR mining, coal companies blow the tops off of mountains in order to get at the coal within them, then leave toxic debris behind in communities, poisoning their water supplies and destroying entire ecosystems in the process. By 2012, 2,200 square miles (5,700 km2) of Appalachian forests will be cleared for MTR sites, 2,000 miles (5,200 km2) of streams and headwaters that provide drinking water for millions of Americans have been permanently buried and destroyed, and more than 500 mountains have been flattened. As a result of the massive disruption caused by mining practices, people living near mountaintop removal and other types of coal mines suffer higher cancer rates, more birth defects, and have shorter life spans than other people in Appalachia.
The Buck plant has three coal ash ponds on site to dump its toxic waste. In 2009, the EPA gave all three of these ponds a high hazard potential rating, meaning they have the potential to cause death should the dams fail. Each year, Duke Energy’s Buck Steam Station is responsible for 9 deaths and over 100 asthma attacks. The people of North Carolina don’t deserve to have their air polluted by coal waste any longer, Duke Energy needs to retire this dirty coal-fired plant.