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Politics
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.

NC Lawmakers Compromise On Plan For Duke Energy's 33 Coal Ash Ponds

Duke Energy's coal burning plant and the adjacent coal ash ponds by the Dan River.
Riverkeeper Foundation
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Top Republicans in the North Carolina General Assembly say they’ve agreed on a plan to manage Duke Energy’s coal ash ponds. The plan for Duke Energy's 33 ponds has been roughly six months in the making, but just weeks ago negotiations broke down between the senators and representatives who were writing it.

One of the lead writers, Rep. Chuck Mcgrady (R-Hendersonville), says a critical portion of the new plan deals with ponds near the water table. McGrady says Duke will be forced to remove ash from any pond sitting in areas where the ground is saturated with water, or it’ll have to put in safeguards to make sure chemicals don’t seep into it.
 

Republican leaders say this is the most aggressive mitigation plan in the country, but some Democrats say it doesn’t protect the environment enough and doesn’t protect the consumers from paying the costs of managing the ashes.

If the House and Senate end their session this week, this could be the last bill they send to the governor.

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