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DENR issues directive to Duke Energy to clean up coal ash

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A collapsed pipe at Duke Energy's Dan River Steam Station dumped coal ash into the Dan River. A collapsed pipe at Duke Energy's Dan River Steam Station dumped coal ash into the Dan River.
RALEIGH, N.C. -

North Carolina's environmental agency is asking Duke Energy to submit plans for moving coal ash from four of its waste pits.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources also issued Duke a directive Wednesday to increase drinking water testing at the company's ash dumps. Duke has 14 plants with 33 unlined ash pits.

It's part of an executive order Gov. Pat McCrory issued after lawmakers adjourned without agreement on a proposed plan requiring the company to dig up or cap its 33 pits. But environmental groups said the legislation would have done little to stop Duke's ash pits from leaking toxic waste into the state waterways.

The governor's order gives Duke until Nov. 15 to submit plans for excavating ash from the company's Asheville, Riverbend, Dan River and Sutton plants.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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