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Charlotte offers land swap with Duke Energy for coal ash

By Bruce Henderson and Ely Portillo
bhenderson@charlotteobserver.com
Coal Ash Spill
Gerry Broome - AP
Duke Energy engineers and contractors survey the site of a coal ash spill at the Dan River Power Plant in Eden in February.

City staff members have proposed a land swap with Duke Energy to dispose of the 4.7 million tons of coal ash perched near the city’s water supply.

The swap would exchange 140 acres of city land for a Duke-owned tract near Charlotte Douglas International Airport’s long-term parking, city staff told members of City Council’s environment committee Wednesday.

Forty acres of the city land is in a runway protection zone that can’t be developed.

Duke is considering the offer, which would fit with the airport’s long-range plans, staff members said. The swap would need approval by the Federal Aviation Administration.

The new development follows the city’s earlier conclusion that Duke’s initial proposal – burying the ash under an airport airfield – was too risky. That solution would have saved the airport $30 million in developing a fourth runway.

Henderson: 704-358-5051; Twitter: @bhender
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