by: MICHAEL BIESECKER, Associated Press Updated:RALEIGH, N.C. (AP)strong>
(AP) — North Carolina's governor says he will propose new legislation aimed at strengthening government oversight of coal ash dumps following the massive Feb. 2 spill at a Duke Energy plant that coated 70 miles of the Dan River in toxic sludge.
Gov. Pat McCrory said Wednesday his plan would result in the "conversion or closure" of the dumps and close legal loopholes that has allowed Duke to avoid cleaning up groundwater contamination leeching from its 33 unlined ash pits scattered across the state.
McCrory declined to take questions about his proposal at a public event and his staff said specific details would be made available at a later time.
Environmentalists are pushing the state to require Duke to haul more than 100 million tons of the toxic ash away from waterways.