Duke Energy expresses concern over timeline of coal ash bill

by: Tina Terry Updated:

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NORTH CAROLINA - The Senate will cast its final vote on a bill that would close coal ash ponds across the state.

A Duke Energy spokesman told Eyewitness News on Wednesday the plan is too aggressive.

The aggressive timelines in the bill are Duke Energy's biggest concern.

Senate bill 729 requires duke energy to close coal ash ponds in the Charlotte area and all over the state by 2029. It requires the company's high risk facilities to close by 2019.

A spokesman said Duke had originally had a plan that would require cleanup within a 30-year time period, but the Senate plan cuts that timeline in half. 

“This bill is going to place significant burdens on the company to meet this deadline and this plan,” said Duke Energy spokesman Jeff Brooks.

Duke Energy estimates closing the 33 sites could cost the company up to $10 billion.  
     
The bill allows the Utilities Commission to decide if rate payers should pay for those costs. 

Duke Energy said the utilities commission is the best body to answer that question.