NC Agency Appeals Court Ruling Allowing It To Better Regulate Coal Ash

"Two months after a pond of pollutants at a defunct Duke Energy plant in North Carolina spilled thousands of gallons of coal ash into the Dan River, coating the riverbanks in a “toxic soup” 70 miles long, environmental groups say the state is reneging on its promise to hold the nation’s largest energy company responsible for its actions.

The North Carolina Environmental Management Commission (EMC), a 15-member panel appointed by the governor and state legislators to set environmental management policies, has appealed a judge’s ruling that would have given the state’s environmental regulators greater ability to force Duke to protect other rivers from coal ash.

The appealed decision, issued by Superior Court Judge Paul Ridgeway on March 6, would have allowed state regulators to require Duke to immediately clean up coal ash ponds they deemed a threat to waterways. North Carolina is home to 14 of Duke’s ash ponds — large, unlined pits which are filled with water, ash, and toxic byproducts of coal production, and which are often located near rivers.  "

Peter Moskowitz reports for Aljazeera America April 8, 2014.

Thursday, April 10, 2014