"Duke Plans to Dredge River as Coal Ash Deal Dumped"

"RALEIGH, N.C. --  Duke Energy said Tuesday it plans to begin dredging coal ash out of a North Carolina river as the state's environmental agency moved to scuttle a previously proposed settlement with the company over pollution leaking from waste dumps at its power plants."

"Lawyers for the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources asked a judge late Monday to disregard its own proposed settlement with the nation's largest electricity provider. Under the deal, Duke would have paid fines of $99,111 for pollution that leaked from two coal dumps like the one that ruptured Feb. 2, spewing out enough toxic sludge into the Dan River to fill 73 Olympic-sized pools. The deal proposed over the summer covered plants near Asheville and Charlotte, while this month's spill was near the town of Eden.

The state dumped the settlement one day after a story by The Associated Press in which environmentalists criticized the arrangement as a sweetheart deal aimed at shielding Duke from far more expensive penalties the $50 billion company might face under the federal Clean Water Act."

Michael Biesecker and Mitch Weiss repor for the Associated Press February 11, 2014.

SEE ALSO:

"After Coal Ash Spill, North Carolina Warns Residents To ‘Avoid Prolonged Direct Contact’ With River" (Climate Progress)

"North Carolina Asks To Halt Settlement After Duke Coal Ash Spill" (Reuters)

Source: AP, 02/12/2014