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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina Electric & Gas has moved almost a half million tons of coal ash from lagoons on the Wateree River to a lined landfill at its generating plant site on the river near Columbia.

The Southern Environmental Law Center said Friday that the figure was included in a semi-annual report on the work released at the end of June. The ash is being moved under a settlement of a lawsuit brought by the Environmental Law Center two years ago.

The removal of the ash is ahead of schedule. Under the agreement, the utility said it would remove 240,000 tons of ash by next January.

The lagoons had 2.4 million tons of coal ash in them when the work began.

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