News

Duke presses to have $25 million coal ash fine dismissed

Ddukelogouke Energy has filed an appeal to the $25 million fine issued by the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (NC DENR), calling the penalty both ‘unnecessary’ and ‘excessive.’

The McCrory administration touted the fine issued last month for groundwater contamination at the Sutton Plant near Wilmington as the state’s “largest-ever penalty for environmental damages.”

But officials with Duke argue in their petition the fine deviates from “DENR’s history of responsible regulation” and fails to consider the cooperation by Duke Energy.

Here’s more from the press release issued Thursday by the Charlotte-based utility:

“The Sutton plant generated electricity for millions of customers and operated in compliance with North Carolina pe-suttonlaw and environmental regulations,” said Paul Newton, state president – North Carolina. “We closely monitored groundwater, shared the data with the state for decades, and voluntarily acted to ensure residents near the Sutton plant continue to have a high-quality water supply.”

The appeal, filed with the North Carolina Office of Administrative Hearings, describes a number of instances where the company believes NC DENR’s actions violated state law, the regulator’s own rules and procedures, public policy and the longstanding interpretation of the regulations, including:

  • Fining the company for 1,822 days of alleged groundwater violations despite having sample results for just 27 days.
  • Creating an entirely new methodology to calculate the fine that dramatically increased the size of the penalty, making it $24 million higher than similar fines issued by NC DENR.
  • Failure to consider naturally occurring substances and other potential sources of groundwater contamination in the area.

Duke stresses the utility is working to close 32 ash basins across North Carolina, but cannot remove the coal ash until it has the proper wastewater permits from the state. According to the Charlotte Business Journal, Duke applied for those permits in 2014.

Check Also

House condemns Trump’s ‘racist comments’, not a single NC Republican stands against the President

On Tuesday, the U.S. House voted (240-187) to ...

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

Gov. Roy Cooper signed the controversial “Death by Distribution” bill into law last week. Under the [...]

Van der Vaart: supporter of Trump, critic of regulation, was in charge during some of the state [...]

North Carolina voting rights groups and Democrats were compared to the legendary Pied Piper at the s [...]

More than 10 pollution sources, including two Superfund sites, are within a mile of the new Aberdeen [...]

Linger long enough in Raleigh’s legislative lagoon and you’ll find there are three kinds of lawmaker [...]

There’s an old adage in the law that’s often used to describe situations in which a judge jails some [...]

The right-wing wallflowers of The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday, with an almost palpable sense [...]

The post Hofeller: The GOP’s “Michelangelo of the gerrymander” appeared first on NC Policy Watch. [...]