An environmental group has sued Santee Cooper, saying the state-owned utility has known for more than a decade that arsenic was seeping from its coal-fired power plant In Conway.
The State newspaper reported the Waccamaw Riverkeeper says the state Department of Health and Environmental Control and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have failed to enforce pollution laws.
The Southern Environmental Law Center's lawsuit asks a federal court to require Santee Cooper to remove toxic coal ash from waste ponds at the plant and clean contaminated groundwater to protect the Waccamaw River.
Santee Cooper spokeswoman Mollie Gore said it would cost $90 million to dig up coal ash and haul it away. That's more than twice the cost of the company plan to contain coal ash onsite using cement-fortified walls.