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CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Duke Energy is asking a North Carolina judge to shield its records from state regulators until a federal criminal investigation into the company's activities at its coal ash dumps is resolved.

According to a court document, the company told a judge that providing the requested records could hurt the integrity of the federal investigation. Federal prosecutors in Raleigh have issued 23 subpoenas as part of a widening criminal probe triggered by the Feb. 2 spill at Duke's plant in Eden, which coated 70 miles of the Dan River in toxic sludge.

In the past month, state regulators have issued eight environmental violations against Duke because of the spill and issues at other plants.

Duke's motions deals with enforcement action at Charlotte-area and Asheville waste pits.

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