RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- The state of North Carolina has filed additional lawsuits against Duke Energy seeking to force the utility to clean up pollution coming from coal ash at 12 power plants.

The state Department of Environment and Natural Resources filed two lawsuits Friday in Wake and Mecklenburg counties concerning violations at sites not included in an earlier lawsuit.

The state says water monitoring at the 12 sites showed chemical levels that exceed safety standards, and inspectors have seen liquid seeps that permits don't allow.

Duke Energy spokeswoman Erin Culbert told the Asheville Citizen-Times ( ) the lawsuits don't indicate that water quality has changed dramatically over decades of the plants' operation. She says seven of North Carolina's 14 coal plants will close by year's end, and that will ultimately resolve many questions

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