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Associated Press

CHARLOTTE, NC (AP) — A North Carolina judge says Duke Energy must take immediate action to eliminate the source of groundwater pollution at its coal ash dumps.

Wake County Judge Paul Ridgeway says state regulators failed to properly apply the law.

The ruling stems from legal action taken by the Southern Environmental Law Center in 2012.

The group asked the Environmental Management Commission to force Duke to take immediate corrective action when groundwater problems were discovered at the state’s 32 ash dumps.

But the commission ruled against the environmental group in December 2012 and they appealed the ruling.

The judge’s ruling comes a month after a massive coal ash spill from a Duke facility in Eden coated 70 miles of the Dan River in toxic gray sludge.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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