RALEIGH, WAKE COUNTY - A plan for Duke Energy to close all its North Carolina coal ash dumps by 2029 following this year's Dan River spill is ready for debate by the full Senate.
The measure cleared three Senate committees with relative ease in advance of Tuesday's floor session.
Duke has 33 unlined ash pits at 14 coal-fired power plants in North Carolina. Dumps at four high-risk sites would have to close within five years. Existing ash would have to be removed or sealed.
Duke is worried the timeline is too quick. The bill also would allow the nation's largest electric utility to ask regulators to pass costs to customers.
Any plan would require House approval. Gov. Pat McCrory, who worked for Duke for 28 years, would be asked to sign any final bill.