McCrory administration issues coal ash violations against Duke Energy

File photo of coal ash
File photo of coal ash

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The state environmental department issued violations Friday against Duke Energy for allowing wastewater to leak from 12 coal ash facilities.

Environmental regulators are reviewing additional data and may issue more violations if they find that water quality standards are not being met, according to a release.

READ: Letter to Duke Energy about violations

The violation notice requires Duke Energy to take corrective action and submit more information to the state environmental department. Duke Energy has 30 days to respond to the violations and provide the data.

Duke may also be fined for violating its wastewater permits. Wastewater is treated coal ash water that leaks from ponds and reaches nearby bodies of water.

The violations were issued for unauthorized discharges of wastewater at Duke Energy’s Allen Steam Station, Asheville Steam Station, Belews Creek Steam Station, Buck Steam Station, Cape Fear Steam Electric Generating Plant, Cliffside Steam Station, Dan River Combined Cycle Plant, Lee Steam Electric Plant, Marshall Steam Station, Mayo Steam Electric Power Plant, Roxboro Steam Electric Plant and Weatherspoon Steam Electric Plant.

Duke Energy says there’s “nothing new” about the leaks and it’s ultimately addressing the wastewater by drying out the pits and shutting them down.

The nation’s largest electric utility responded to Friday’s announcement by the Division of Water Resources that Duke is violating state law with the leaks and that fines are possible.

The company said in a statement it’s doing everything the state has asked to address the seeps from the ash storage basins.

Duke Energy pointed to a state regulator’s public comments two months ago that seeps occur in every earthen impoundment and that they present a very low risk to dirty surface waters beyond what regulatory standards permit.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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