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NC proposes changes to coal ash agreement

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- A North Carolina agency is recommending changes to a proposed agreement with Duke Energy over two coal-fired plants discharging wastewater into area rivers and streams.

The state Department of Environmental and Natural Resources said Friday the changes are in response to public comments about the consent order involving plants in Buncombe and Gaston counties. More than 4,900 people filed comments.

The proposed changes include tightening timelines associated with documents that have to be submitted by Duke Energy and strengthening language explaining corrective action.

The state has filed lawsuits to require Duke Energy to address wastewater discharge permit issues at the power plants.

The Asheville Steam Electric Generating Plant and the Riverbend Steam Station have state-issued permits that address discharges to surface waters. Both facilities are required to monitor groundwater.