Duke Energy takes 1st truckload of coal ash from unlined dump at retired plant near Charlotte

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CHARLOTTE, North Carolina — Duke Energy has begun what will be the years-long process of digging up coal ash from its unlined dumps and North Carolina and removing it to safer storage.

The company said in a news release issued Thursday that the first tractor-trailer loaded with ash departed its retired Riverbend power plant near Charlotte, bound for a fully lined landfill in Homer, Georgia.

The nation's largest electricity company, Duke stores more than 150 million tons of coal ash in 32 dumps at 14 power plants in North Carolina, all of which are leaching toxic contaminants into groundwater. The dumps must either be capped or cleaned out by 2029 under a state law passed last year after a spill from a Duke plant coated 70 miles of the Dan River in gray sludge.

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