McCrory signs compromise for Duke Energy coal ash cleanup

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina will offer cheaper ways for Duke Energy to clean up coal ash pits at seven sites while ensuring drinking water is piped to residents near the ponds.

Gov. Pat McCrory on Friday signed a bill to allow Duke Energy to dry out the watery pits and close them in place rather than excavating all of the toxic residue.

Earlier in the session, McCrory vetoed another bill that would have reinstated a state Coal Ash Management Commission approved in 2014 that he didn’t like and sued over.

The compromise eliminates the commission and requires the company to supply plant neighbors with safe drinking water by October 2018.

The Department of Environmental Quality in May declared the toxic residue a public safety risk and ordered its removal by 2024.

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