Duke Energy reaches deal with environmental group to close utility's SC coal ash pits


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GREENVILLE, South Carolina — Duke Energy is planning to remove all of its coal ash from pits at a South Carolina plant that environmentalists say threatens the Saluda River.

The Charlotte-based company's plan is part of a deal with the Southern Environmental Law Center, which represents several groups which had been pushing Duke to clean up the leaky ash dumps at the W.S. Lee facility near Greenville.

The agreement announced Thursday calls for Duke to move 3.2 million tons of ash stored in pits along the river to a lined facility away from the waterway.

Frank Holleman, the law group's senior attorney, praised the agreement.

Duke is the latest utility to agree to move coal ash from South Carolina waterways. The environmental law group reached a similar pact with another company earlier this year.

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