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Here are some of the other stories catching our attention.

Duke Reseals Pipe Found Leaking At Allen Coal Ash Pond

Duke Energy says it has sealed a broken pipe found leaking from a coal ash dump at the Allen electric plant in Gaston County. The utility and an environmental group are disagreeing about the severity of the leak.

The small leak in an old corrugated metal pipe was found during an inspection last week. Duke says it was leaking about 10 ounces a minute of groundwater, contaminated with a small amount of boron, an indicator of coal ash.

The company reported the leak to state water quality officials and began repairs. 

The pipe was once the main outflow from the coal ash pond into the Catawba River. Duke says it was plugged with concrete in 1966. Since then, the pond has been drained and a new lined landfill constructed above it.

Catawba Riverkeeper Sam Perkins said the pipe is just like one that leaked at the Dan River plant in Eden in 2014, and could be at risk of a similar major spill.

Duke says it has plugged the Allen plant pipe, and that water quality meets government standards. 


Dec. 20, 2016, letter from Duke Energy to N.C. Division of Water Resources

David Boraks is a veteran journalist who covers climate change for WFAE. See more at www.wfae.org/climate-news. He also has covered housing and homelessness, energy and the environment, transportation and business.