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April 23, 2014

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Coal-ash dumps threaten community

Updated Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014 | 8:01 a.m.

WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) — The tall stacks of a Duke Energy plant are a looming reminder of the environment dangers threatening a working class community outside of Wilmington.

Contaminated groundwater from a pair of huge Sutton Steam Electric Plant coal-ash dumps is headed toward the wells that provide drinking water for the Flemington community.

Duke says the wells are safe. But threat is so serious that the company has agreed to pay to extend pipes to connect residents to a public water system.

Sam Malpass is a longtime resident of Flemington. He says people are afraid to drink the water and the fish in nearby Sutton Lake because of coal-ash pollution.

Their concerns have been heightened in the wake of Duke's recent coal ash spill in Eden that polluted the Dan River.