Environmental groups file clean water lawsuits against Duke Energy over coal ash pollution

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RALEIGH, North Carolina — A coalition of North Carolina environmental groups is suing Duke Energy under the federal Clean Water Act over pollution leaking from the company's coal ash dumps.

Three lawsuits filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court cite water pollution and dam safety issues at Duke's coal-fired power plants at Buck Steam Station near Salisbury, the Cape Fear Plant in Moncure and the H.F. Lee Plant near Goldsboro. The complaints accuse Duke of contaminating rivers and groundwater used as sources of drinking water.

Coal ash contains numerous chemicals that are toxic to humans, including arsenic, lead, chromium and thallium.

Duke's 33 ash dumps across the state have been under intense scrutiny since a February spill at a power plant in Eden coated 70 miles of the Dan River in gray sludge.

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