"CONWAY, SC -- Pollution from a pair of coal ash ponds at Santee Cooper’s retired Grainger electric generating plant here has sparked another lawsuit – this one filed by The Southern Environmental Law Center, which alleges the state-owned utility is violating the federal Clean Water Act."
"This is at least the fourth lawsuit filed in recent months over high levels of arsenic that are discharging from the ash ponds into surrounding groundwater. The Southern Environmental Law Center has filed two lawsuits in state court alleging that Santee Cooper has violated the state’s Pollution Control Act and asking a judge to force the utility to remove the ash ponds. The Coalition for Clean Energy is suing the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control over its failure to act on a permit application that would have limited the amount of pollution discharged from the Grainger facility. All of the lawsuits are pending.
The latest lawsuit – filed Monday in federal court in Charleston – alleges that Santee Cooper has known since at least the mid-1990s that arsenic levels of up to 300 times the federal safe limits have been seeping into groundwater around the unlined ash ponds, which are adjacent to the Waccamaw River. Environmentalists say the pollution threatens the river as well as the Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge, which is located downstream from the Grainger facility."