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Coal Ash Spill Cleanup Will Take 2 Years, Duke Energy Says

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Gullies in the coal ash pond at the Duke Energy Dan River Steam Station show where coal ash flowed towards the Dan River beyond the far berm. (John D. Simmons/Charlotte Observer/MCT via Getty Images) | Charlotte Observer via Getty Images

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Duke Energy says it plans to move three leaky coal ash pits away from North Carolina waterways, including one that coated 70 miles of the Dan River with toxic sludge.

Duke says it will take at least two years to clean up the Dan River site, and sites near Asheville and Charlotte. State regulators say Duke's plans fall short of cleaning up nearly three dozen leaky coal ash dumps spread across the state.

After the Feb. 2 spill, Gov. Pat McCrory and regulators gave Duke a March 15 deadline to provide details of how the company would stop pollution at the ash pits.

Duke President Lynn Good sent Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary John Skvarla a letter with details.

But on Thursday, Skvarla called the plans inadequate.

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Duke Energy Coal Ash Spill In North Carolina
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