More Groundwater Pollution Found Near Coal Ash Dumps

More Groundwater Pollution Found Near Coal Ash Dumps

5:39am Jun 10, 2015
The Sutton Steam Plant, near Wilmington, NC
Duke Energy via Flickr

More drinking wells have been found contaminated from coal ash dumps. North Carolina environmental regulators are ordering Duke Energy to stop the spread of groundwater pollution from coal ash dumps outside Wilmington.

The state Department of Environment and Natural Resources said Tuesday recent tests showed high levels of boron in three wells near the Sutton Steam Plant. The presence of boron in groundwater is a recognized indicator of coal ash contamination.

In March, the state fined Duke Energy $25 million over groundwater contamination that has been seeping for years from the plant's unlined dumps. The ash left over from burning coal to generate electricity contains toxic heavy metals.

  The company is appealing the fine, which it says is excessive. The state agency recently hired an outside law firm to help press its case against Duke Energy.

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