NC agency clears Alcoa's PCB plan, fed OK needed

BADIN, N.C. (AP) - North Carolina regulators are approving a plan by Alcoa Inc. to cover a lake bottom to prevent a health-harming contaminant near its closed aluminum smelter from moving.

The state Division of Waste Management said Thursday it is allowing Alcoa to cap PCB-contaminated sediments in two areas of Badin Lake. Federal regulators also must approve the plan after a public-comment deadline in two weeks.

The project involves lowering water levels in Badin Lake by up to 20 feet, digging up as much contaminated sediment as possible, and covering the rest with sand and rocks. Work is scheduled to start in November.

Environmental groups have criticized the plan for not doing enough to clean the lake of PCBs.

PCB-contaminated stormwater polluted the lake from Alcoa's now idle aluminum smelting plant.

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