Regulators say Duke pumped coal ash into NC river

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina regulators say Duke Energy illegally pumped 61 million gallons of contaminated coal ash into the Cape Fear River, marking the eighth time in less than a month the nation's largest electricity company has been cited for environmental violations.

State Department of Environment and Natural Resources spokesman Jamie Kritzer said Thursday that Duke violated the terms of its wastewater permit for its Cape Fear Plant. The agency issued Duke a notice of violation, which could result in hefty fines.

State officials also said Thursday that there is a crack in the earthen dike holding back the coal ash, though it does not appear to be in danger of collapse.

A Feb. 2 collapse at a Duke dump in Eden coated 70 miles of the Dan River with toxic sludge.

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