N. Carolina requires plan for coal ash swept away by flood

The Associated Press

North Carolina regulators say Duke Energy must create a formal plan for handling coal ash swept away from a power plant during Hurricane Matthew's flooding.

This Monday, Oct. 17, 2016, photo shows coal ash floating on the Neuse River in Goldsboro, N.C. Conservationists and regulators are at odds over how much coal ash was swept away by flooding during Hurricane Matthew - state inspectors say it would fit in the bed of a pickup truck while Waterkeeper Alliance, a watchdog group, argues it's a much larger spill. (Peter Harrison/Waterkeeper Alliance via AP)

 

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina regulators say Duke Energy must create a formal plan for handling coal ash swept away from a power plant during Hurricane Matthew's flooding.

The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality's letter on Thursday informs Duke Energy it must submit a post-flooding plan for the H.F. Lee plant near Goldsboro. The plan must include more measurements of flooding damage and how much coal ash escaped.

The letter doesn't specifically address cleanup, but DEQ spokesman Mike Rusher says the state is still evaluating whether enforcement actions are needed.

The letter comes as conservationists dispute regulators' conclusion that minimal coal ash escaped last week. State inspectors say it would fit into the bed of a pickup truck, but conservation groups released photos that they say show evidence of a larger spill.

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