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Thanks for the Comments on the Proposed Sweetheart Coal Ash Settlement
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Thanks for the Comments on the Proposed Sweetheart Coal Ash Settlement

Duke Energy and DENR proposed a sweetheart settlement that would allow Duke to indefinitely postpone correcting ongoing illegal discharges and indefinitely postpone cleaning up contamination from coal ash waste ponds, and public comments on proposed settlement are almost unanimously opposed to the settlement. Now it is up to DENR and the court to determine if the proposed settlement should be modified or scrapped.

Thanks for the Comments on the Proposed Sweetheart Coal Ash Settlement

Riverbend Ash Waste Ponds on Mountain Island Lake. Photo by Nancy Pierce. Flight by Southwings.

Thousands say no to Duke Energy's coal-ash settlement

 
By Bruce Henderson
bhenderson@charlotteobserver.com
 

Public sentiment is heavily against a proposed settlement of coal-ash lawsuits filed by North Carolina environmental regulators against Duke Energy.

The state sought injunctions against Duke earlier this year for water contaminated by ash at its Riverbend power plant west of Charlotte and its Asheville plant.

In a settlement proposed in July, Duke agreed to assess the sources and extent of contamination and pay a $99,000 fine. A Wake County Superior Court judge will rule on the proposal once it’s presented in final form.

But the verdict is already in from the court of public opinion: No deal.

Virtually all the 4,939 comments filed before an Aug. 14 deadline opposed the settlement or urged the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources to hold a hearing on it.

“We are frankly dismayed and perplexed that DENR would support such an ineffectual and meaningless settlement,” wrote a Charlotte couple who live on Mountain Island Lake.

Added another lake resident: “Leaving the coal ash where it is simply invites a disaster for the health of all those who rely on Mountain Island Lake for drinking water, let alone the environmental impact and harm to the marine and plant life.”

 
You can view Catawba Riverkeeper Sam Perkins' comments at http://www.catawbariverkeeper.org/issues/coal-ash-1/variouscommentt2sided.pdf

 

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