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June 17, 2014

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

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

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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