Duke Energy is submitting plans to North Carolina regulators to move millions of tons of coal ash from four high-risk plants to other locations, including open-pit clay mines.
The company said Thursday its proposal has to be approved by the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
A coal ash cleanup bill passed by lawmakers this summer requires Duke to remove all of the waste stored in Asheville, Dan River, Riverbend and Sutton plants by 2019.
The legislation was passed after a massive coal ash spill at Duke's Dan River plant coated 70 miles of the river in gray muck.
Along with recycling the waste, Duke will move some of the ash to clay mines — used in the brick industry — in Chatham and Lee counties.