NC orders Duke Energy to fix leaky pipes at coal ash sites

Posted by John Murawski on June 17, 2014 

DAN_RIVER_02

The metal pipe that leaked coal ash into the Dan River near Eden las led to an investigation of Duke Energy’s other coal ash ponds.

JOHN D. SIMMONS — jsimmons@charlotteobserver.com Buy Photo

North Carolina officials on Monday ordered Duke Energy to fix leaky pipes at coal ash lagoons located at five power plants.

All the power plants are in the Charlotte area and in western North Carolina. Charlotte-based Duke has to submit a repair schedule by July 17 and faces fines of $500 per day for each violation.

Officials at the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources issued eight notices of deficiency for leaks at power plants in Catawba, Gaston, Rowan, Rutherford and Cleveland counties.

They discovered the leaks when reviewing videos taken by cameras inside the pipes. The agency ordered the videos after a February breach of Duke a coal ash lagoon released a mass of sludge into the Dan River.

The videos showed cracks, drips and gushers in the pipes, which run in dams at the coal ash impoundments. The pipes are in sections that capture overflow from the ash ponds or in spillway systems.

Agency officials said the leaky pipes don’t cause an imminent public health risk.

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