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Business & Economy
Coal ash is the waste that remains when coal is burned. It is usually collected in a dump, known as a pond. North Carolina has more than 30 such sites in 14 different locations across the state. A pipe running under one of the ponds run by Duke Energy in Eden NC ruptured in February of 2014. The coal ash spilled, largely affecting the Dan River which flows into Virginia. The spill is the third largest of its kind in U.S. history.Many see potential complications because North Carolina's governor, Pat McCrory, worked for Duke Energy for 28 years.

Duke Energy To Contest Coal Ash Excavation Order

A thin film of coal ash coats trees and vegetation in an inactive ash basin at the HF Lee plant. As expected, the area was flooded by Hurricane Florence.
c/o Duke Energy
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The country's largest electric company says it's challenging an order by North Carolina's environmental agency to excavate coal ash from all of its power plant sites in the state.

Duke Energy Corp. said Thursday it will file an administrative appeal by May 1. The order could cut the risk of toxic chemicals leaking into water supplies but add billions of dollars to electricity bills.

The company has said it wants to cover the storage pits at six power plants with a waterproof cap, calling it a cheaper option that would prevent rain from passing through and carrying chemicals through the unlined bottoms.

The Charlotte-based company says complete excavation would cost about $10 billion, nearly double current estimates. Consumer advocates are demanding the company's shareholders pay that bill instead of customers.

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