Coal ash bill advances in NC Senate

The Associated Press

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A committee of the North Carolina Senate advanced a bill aimed at stopping groundwater pollution leaching from Duke Energy's coal pits in the state, despite concerns raised by the company that it won't be able to meet the mandated closure deadlines.

The Agriculture and Environment Committee voted unanimously Tuesday to approve the latest version of the bill backed by Republican leaders. The measure would require the nation's largest electricity company to close its leaky dumps at four high-risk sites within five years. Dumps at 10 other sites would have to close by 2029.

Duke lobbyist George Everett told lawmakers he doubted the company could meet those deadlines and suggested removing them from the bill. The bill's sponsors declined.

The measure now heads for debate before another committee set for Wednesday.

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