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Environment
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.

EPA: Coal Ash Not Hazardous Waste

US Fish and Wildlife Service responds to coal ash spill on Dan River
USFWS
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The Environmental Protection Agency came out today with its first-ever regulations for coal ash.

The new rules treat coal ash like regular household garbage, instead of hazardous waste, as many environmental groups wanted. The EPA said the record did not support a hazardous-waste classification.

Coal ash is the byproduct when coal is burned for electricity. It contains arsenic, selenium, and other materials that can be harmful to humans.

The new EPA rules boost monitoring at current sites and require companies to make testing results public. But the regulations do not cover sites at shuttered power plants, like the one involved in the Dan River spill in February.

The EPA rules are good news for Duke Energy. A hazardous-waste classification would have added billions of dollars to the cleanup costs to its 14 sites across North Carolina. 

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