RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - North Carolina regulators say they are investigating whether Duke Energy broke the law when workers pumped contaminated water from a coal ash dump near the Cape Fear River.
State Department of Environment and Natural Resources spokesman Jamie Kritzer said the agency is determining whether Duke violated its wastewater permit at its Cape Fear Plant in Moncure.
The environmental group Waterkeeper Alliance took aerial photos of two large mobile pumps at the facility on March 10. The pumps appear to be sucking water directly from a large coal ash dump into nearby woods and a storm drain leading to a nearby waterway. Coal ash contains arsenic, lead, mercury and other toxic metals.
Duke has described the pumping as "routine maintenance" at the old coal-fired power plant, which shut down in 2012.