NC Attorney General Files New Lawsuit Alleging Violations at all Duke Plants in NC
On August 16, the North Carolina Attorney General filed lawsuits against Duke Energy alleging that all of its coal-fired power plants in North Carolina were violating North Carolina law because of illegal discharges (seeps) and our contamination of groundwater. The State stated in its complaint that these violations "constitute a serious danger to the health, safety and welfare of the people of North Carolina and serious harm to the water resources of the State."
Copies of the complaints and related documents can be found at:
From the Charlotte Observer's Bruce Henderson:
Lawsuits filed Friday by North Carolina’s environment department seek injunctions against 12 Duke Energy coal-fired power plants where ash has polluted water.
The actions mirror earlier state suits against Duke’s Riverbend plant northwest of Charlotte and its Asheville plant. All 14 of Duke’s North Carolina coal plants are now the targets of state litigation.
The two lawsuits filed in Mecklenburg and Wake counties Friday cite groundwater pollution at all 12 of the plants and illegal seepage from ash ponds at most of them. Among them are Allen on Lake Wylie in Gaston County and Marshall on Lake Norman in Catawba County.
Ash contains metals that can be toxic in high doses. The lawsuits cite a number of elements – including arsenic, boron, selenium and thallium – that occur naturally but whose presence at the plants indicate a link to ash.
The suits say ash violations, if not corrected, “pose a serious danger to the health, safety and welfare of the people of the state of North Carolina and serious harm to the water resources of the state.”
Friday’s filings “confirm what we had been saying, that coal ash disposal is being conducted illegally and is polluting North Carolina’s natural resources,” said senior attorney Frank Holleman of the Southern Environmental Law Center, which represents the Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation and other environmental groups.
“It would have been appropriate for the department to have conferred with the conservation groups that brought this to their attention.”