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Coal ash belmont
Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation


 North Carolina lawmakers have sent Governor Pat McCrory a bill that would relax the state's coal ash cleanup law. It passed the House, 82-32, Thursday night and immediately drew criticism from environmentalists.

Coal ash ponds at Riverbend Steam Station in Mount Holly.
David Boraks / WFAE

Updated 9:11 p.m.
Lawmakers have reached a compromise with Gov. Pat McCrory on how to revise state law requiring cleanups at Duke Energy's North Carolina coal ash sites.  The new bill could let Duke leave ash where it is at some plants, instead of removing it.

David Boraks / WFAE

North Carolina was once a top wine producer - until Prohibition killed the industry. But it's growing again. The North Carolina Wine & Grape Council says the state now has 186 wineries and adds about a dozen new ones a year. Dover Vineyards in Concord is one of those startups.

The North Carolina Senate approved a bill Monday that would ban wind farms across much of the state. The "Military Operations Protection Act," which passed 33-14, would not allow wind turbines in areas with military training flights.

Trucks move coal ash at Duke's Marshall Steam Station on Lake Norman. The company plans to cover ash in place at the plant.
David Boraks / WFAE

Time may be running out for North Carolina lawmakers to reach a compromise on how to update the state's coal ash cleanup law. That's according to the chief sponsor of a bill that Gov. Pat McCrory vetoed last week.

Duke Energy

State regulators will hold a hearing June 17 to help determine whether environmentalists should have to pay a multimillion dollar appeal bond before they challenge approval of a Duke Energy power plant in Asheville. 

 Gov. Pat McCrory has followed through on his threat to veto a bill revising the state's coal ash cleanup law. In a statement Monday night, McCrory said the bill's attempt to revive the Coal Ash Management Commission was unconstitutional. He also said the bill weakens environmental protections.

A lab technician handles water samples in June 2016 at Charlotte Water's laboratory off Billy Graham Parkway.
David Boraks / WFAE

The annual drinking water quality report is out from Charlotte Water, and it shows there’s nothing to worry about here.

dan river coal ash cleanup
David Boraks / WFAE

A superior court judge this week ordered Duke Energy to dig up and remove coal at four North Carolina plants - something it's already doing under the state's 2014 coal ash cleanup law.

Judge Paul Ridgeway ordered excavations of coal ash basins at the Riverbend plant in Mount Holly as well as plants on the Dan River, Asheville, and Wilmington.  State regulators had sued Duke in 2013 to seek cleanups at the four plants, and environmental groups later joined the suits.

The state House and Senate on Tuesday both approved a revised bill that would update the 2014 law governing coal ash cleanups at Duke Energy's North Carolina plants. That sets up a battle with Gov. Pat McCrory, who calls the bill unnecessary and irresponsible and vows a veto. 

Duke Energy's Marshall Plant on Lake Norman has about 32 million tons of coal ash stored on site.
David Boraks / WFAE

Lawmakers are debating a bill that would give Duke Energy more time and flexibility in cleaning up coal ash at its North Carolina plants. A Duke official said Thursday that Duke needs the change because it can't hit state deadlines for removing the ash at most of its plants.

David Boraks / WFAE

Updated 6:09 p.m.
House lawmakers on Wednesday voted 86-25 to approve a bill that would change the rules for Duke Energy’s cleanups of coal ash across the state. It’s a controversial bill that has drawn the opposition of Gov. Pat McCrory and state regulators.  

Flickr / Dan Belanescu / bit.ly/1syVX00

Duke Energy has signed another deal to buy natural gas recycled from hog waste in eastern North Carolina. The utility is working with Optima KV, which will install waste processing equipment at farms in Duplin County, where Smithfield Farms produces pork.  

Coal ash belmont
Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation

Neighbors of Duke Energy's coal ash ponds in Gaston and Rowan counties say they like Duke's proposal this week to provide safe, permanent water supplies. But they also worry it could mean they’ll have to continue to live with coal ash.

Two environmental groups have asked the state Court of Appeals to remove a major financial hurdle in their fight to halt Duke Energy's plans for a new gas-fired power plant in Asheville.

N.C. Department of Environmental Quality.

  Duke Energy will have to remove coal ash stored near all 14 of its North Carolina power plants under final risk classifications out Wednesday from state regulators. But that may not be the last word.

Companies would be able to contract for solar or wind power with third parties under the new Duke Energy program.
DUKE ENERGY

Duke Energy says state regulators have approved construction of two new solar farms - a 60-megawatt project in Union County, and a 15.4-megawatt facility in Davie County.  Duke says both will be generating electricity by year's end.

Map shows the Atlantic Coast Pipeline's proposed route through eastern North Carolina. It will orginate in West Virginia and run through Virginia as well.
Atlantic Coast Pipeline

Utilities planning the Atlantic Coast Pipeline have altered the route to avoid environmentally sensitive areas. But they say there's no change in the projected cost or 2018 completion date. 

David Boraks / WFAE

In late March, fans of Tesla's luxury electric cars swarmed its website and stores to reserve the new Model 3. It’s a lower-priced design aimed at the mass market.  But delivering those cars next year could be a problem: Traditional auto dealers are fighting its plan for new showrooms, including one in Charlotte.

NC WARN owns the solar panels it installed on Faith Community Church in Greensboro, and had been selling electricity to the church. But it has stopped the sales, after an order by regulators.
NC WARN

A Durham nonprofit says it has "temporarily suspended" sales of solar power on a church rooftop in Greensboro, complying with an order from state utility regulators last month.  

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