Yesterday Duke Energy pled guilty to nine criminal violations of the Clean Water Act at coal ash plants across North Carolina. From Dan River to Moncure to Asheville the charges all reflected one basic fact: that Duke was aware of problems at all these sites but negligently ignored them. That is why Duke will be paying a $102 million, the largest Clean Water Act criminal penalty in NC history.
What's next? This deal includes only 5 of 14 sites across NC. Our state Department of the Environment is still under investigation. In the past two weeks we've seen well test results around coal ash ponds come back with letters that say "Don't Drink Your Water." The issue of well and groundwater contamination around these ponds deserves the same scrutiny the sites in this criminal plea received.
The people of Dukeville still need clean water. All 14 sites acros the state still need to be cleaned up to protect our rivers and drinking water. Let's not let up now.