Regulators say Duke pumped coal ash near NC river

Mar. 20, 2014 @ 05:14 PM

North Carolina regulators say Duke Energy illegally pumped 61 million gallons of contaminated water from a coal ash pit near the Cape Fear River.

State Department of Environment and Natural Resources spokesman Jamie Kritzer said Thursday the dumping violated Duke's wastewater permit at its Cape Fear plant. The agency has issued Duke a formal notice of violation, which could result in hefty fines.

The state is now testing water samples from the Cape Fear River.

Kritzer says regulators have notified cities and towns downstream of the plant. So far, none have reported problems with drinking water.

The dumping was first spotted March 10 by the environmental group Waterkeeper Alliance.

A Feb. 2 coal ash spill at different Duke plant coated 70 miles of the Dan River with toxic sludge.