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State regulators issue violation notices to 5 more Duke Energy plants

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A massive coal ash spill coated 70 miles of the Dan River with toxic sludge. A massive coal ash spill coated 70 miles of the Dan River with toxic sludge.
RALEIGH, N.C. -

State regulators have issued notices of violations for five other Duke Energy power plants as part of their probe into Duke Energy's coal ash ponds.

The power plants are accused of failing to obtain a federally mandated National Pollution Discharge Elimination System stormwater permit.

The violation notices are in addition to two other violations issued at the Dan River power plant in Eden, where a failed 48-inch stormwater pipe caused a massive spill of coal ash into the Dan River on Feb. 2.

Duke Energy has 30 days to respond to the violation notices for all six facilities cited. Duke Energy has 15 days to respond to the notice related to the wastewater violations at the Dan River facility, according to a news release.

Following the coal ash spill, regulators with the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources began a lengthy review of the permit status of all 14 Duke Energy facilities across the state.

DENR determined that the company had neither applied for nor obtained stormwater permits for six power plants, including the Dan River Steam Station.

"Our agency is determined to make sure that all of these facilities are in compliance with state and federal law," said John Skvarla, Secretary of the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources. "We're doing everything in our power to prevent environmental disasters like what we've seen at the Dan River. We are committed to protecting public health and the natural resources of our state."

The five additional facilities receiving notices of violation are the Belews Creek Steam Station in Rockingham County, Cliffside Steam Station in Rutherford County, Lee Steam Electric Plant in Wayne County, Roxboro Steam Electric Power Plant in Person County and Sutton Steam Electric Plant in New Hanover County.

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