NC lawmakers push Duke to clean up coal ash dumps

By MICHAEL BIESECKER and MITCH WEISS

Associated Press

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NC lawmakers push Duke to clean up coal ash dumps

RALEIGH — Two North Carolina lawmakers say they will push legislation to force the nation’s largest electricity provider to clean out its leaky waste dumps across the state, as federal prosecutors launch a criminal investigation into Duke Energy’s massive coal ash spill on the Dan River.

State Senate Rules Chairman Tom Apodaca and House Environment Committee Vice-Chairman Chuck McGrady say they will co-sponsor a bill to get rid of coal ash dumps like the one that ruptured Feb. 2, spewing out enough toxic sludge into the Dan River to fill 73 Olympic-sized pools.

The two Henderson County Republicans live near Duke’s coal-fired plant along the French Broad River south of Asheville, which has two large coal ash lagoons that tests show are contaminating groundwater.

A legislative oversight hearing is scheduled for Monday.