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Fix leaking ash pipes, state tells Duke Energy

State regulators, for the second time this week, have ordered Duke Energy to fix piping problems in coal ash dams at its power plants.

The N.C. Division of Energy, Mineral and Land Resources issued a notice of deficiency, or warning notice, to Duke on Wednesday for leaks at the Weatherspoon plant in Lumberton.

The state said it found “numerous gushers, drips and stains” in the pipes from video taken after a disastrous Feb. 2 ash spill into the Dan River. Duke has until July 20 to submit a repair schedule or face fines of up to $500 a day.

The division also sent letters that ordered Duke to produce engineering assessments for piping systems at the Sutton plant in Wilmington and the Asheville plant. No major leaks were found at either site.

Duke says third-party pipe inspections found its infrastructure safe but identified some water infiltration. The company is developing engineering plans to repair or close some pipes and will monitor the others.

Earlier this week, the division ordered Duke to submit repair plans for leaking pipes at the Riverbend, Allen and Marshall plants near Charlotte, the Buck plant in Rowan County and Cliffside plant in Rutherford and Cleveland counties.

This article was modified at 11 a.m. June 19, 2014, to include Duke Energy’s response to the state notices.

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