Duke Energy closing coal ash pond at Sutton Plant - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Duke Energy closing coal ash pond at Sutton Plant

Duke Energy President and CEO said Good's letter states the plan will be submitted to NCDENR within six months, and "removing the water from the ash basins will be completed in the next 18 to 24 months." Duke Energy President and CEO said Good's letter states the plan will be submitted to NCDENR within six months, and "removing the water from the ash basins will be completed in the next 18 to 24 months."

RALEIGH, NC (WECT/AP) –  Officials with Duke Energy have submitted plans to close the coal ash pond at the company's Sutton Plant in New Hanover County, as part of its larger action plan following a leak of toxic materials at its Dan River location.

In a letter to North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary John Skvarla, Duke Energy President and CEO Lynn J. Good wrote the company's comprehensive plan includes initiatives to "Accelerate planning and closure of the Sutton ash ponds to include evaluation of possible lined structural fill solutions and other options". Good's letter states the plan will be submitted to NCDENR within six months, and "removing the water from the ash basins will be completed in the next 18 to 24 months."

Duke Energy's Sutton Steam Electricity Plant was one of several locations to be cited for a permit violation earlier this month. The facility does not have a stormwater permit, according to the state. DENR spokeswoman Bridget Munger said it is required by federal standards for any industry operating outside where chemicals could be washed away by rain water.

Duke Energy also said it plans to move three leaky coal ash pits away from North Carolina waterways, including one that coated 70 miles of the Dan River with toxic sludge.

Duke says it will take at least two years to clean up the Dan River site, as well as sites near Asheville and Charlotte. State regulators said Duke's plans fall short of cleaning up nearly three dozen leaky coal ash dumps spread across the state.

After the Feb. 2 spill, Gov. Pat McCrory and regulators gave Duke a March 15 deadline to provide details of how the company would stop pollution at the ash pits, but on Thursday, Skvarla called the plans inadequate. 

Click here to read the letter Good wrote to Gov. McCrory and Sec. Skvarla: http://tinyurl.com/l578hjf 

Copyright 2014 WECT. All rights reserved.  The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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