State regulators say Duke must submit plan for coal ash spilled by Matthew

Coal ash floating on the Neuse River following Hurricane Matthew (Photo: Upper Neuse River Keeper Project)
Coal ash floating on the Neuse River following Hurricane Matthew (Photo: Upper Neuse River Keeper Project)

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — State regulators say Duke Energy has to submit a plan for dealing with coal ash that spilled during the flooding from Hurricane Matthew.

The flooding affected the H.F. Lee plant in Wayne County, which sits near the Neuse River.

Environmental groups have been worried about material carried away by the flood waters, but Duke says that the amount of coal ash that escaped would fit into the bed of a pickup truck.

A spokesman also said that what people are seeing in the river are cenospheres, which are inert and non-toxic.

Some area residents are skeptical, but a Duke spokesman said the basins are still very safe.

The state is still trying to figure out if enforcement actions are needed.

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