State says Duke Energy pumped coal ash at Cape Fear site - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

State says Duke Energy pumped coal ash at Cape Fear site

The state has cited Duke Energy for violating permits at its Cape Fear site The state has cited Duke Energy for violating permits at its Cape Fear site

RALEIGH, N.C.(AP/WECT) - North Carolina regulators say Duke Energy pumped 61 million gallons ofcontaminated water from a coal ash pit near the Cape Fear River.

State Departmentof Environment and Natural Resources spokesman Jamie Kritzer says the actionviolated Duke's wastewater permit at its Cape Fear plant.

He says theagency issued Duke a notice of violation for the permit violations.

Kritzer saysregulators have notified municipalities downstream of the Cape Fear plant.

So far, he saysno municipalities have reported problems meeting federal drinking waterstandards.

But he says hisdepartment is collecting water samples near the plant.

According to Duke Energy, the companywas using a temporary pumping system to lower water levels in two basins at theCape Fear plant to perform upcoming maintenance.

"We were notifiedby phone in August that Duke Energy intended to conduct routine maintenancework at these ash ponds," said Tom Reeder, director of the N.C. Division ofWater Resources. "The state's investigation revealed that the pumpingactivities on-going at this plant far exceeded what would reasonably beconsidered routine maintenance."

The dischargecomes a month after Duke's massive coal ash spill in Eden coated 70 miles ofthe Dan River with toxic sludge.

(Copyright 2014The Associated Press. WECT contributed to this report.)

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