Duke Energy, Panel To Talk Coal Ash In SC

Duke Energy officials and environmentalist plan to discuss coal ash issues with the agency that regulates utilities in South Carolina.

The State newspaper reported Duke Energy spokesman Ryan Mosier says the utility will meet Monday with the S.C. Public Service Commission. Frank Holleman of the Southern Environmental Law Center also will attend the meeting.

The subject will Duke's coal ash facilities in South Carolina and North Carolina.

A spill from a coal ash dump in Eden, N.C., on Feb. 2 coated 70 miles of the Dan River in toxic sludge and brought to light Duke's history of polluting groundwater with its leaky, unlined coal ash dumps.

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North Carolina regulators say they have asked a judge to withdraw a proposed settlement that would have allowed Duke Energy to resolve environmental violations by paying a $99,000 fine with no requirement that the $50 billion company clean up its pollution.

The state Department of Environment and Natural Resources said in a statement Friday that it would scuttle the proposed consent order to settle violations for groundwater contamination leeching from coal ash dumps near Charlotte and Asheville.

The decision comes after a Feb. 2 spill at a Duke coal ash dump in Eden coated 70 miles of the Dan River in toxic sludge.

The settlement was initially tabled last month, the day after an Associated Press story highlighting what environmentalists criticized as a "sweetheart deal" to Duke.