- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 29, 2016

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - The North Carolina General Assembly is nearly ready to offer cheaper ways for Duke Energy to clean up toxic coal ash authorities declared a public health risk in May.

A House committee recommended Wednesday that the full chamber approve legislation that would allow Duke Energy to dry out the watery pits and close them in place rather than excavating all the toxic residue.

The proposal would require the company supply plant neighbors with safe drinking water by October 2018 and fortify unsafe dams around some pits. The proposal has been backed by the Department of Environmental Quality.

The full Senate passed the bill Tuesday. The bill now heads to the full House for concurrence.

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