"Duke Energy’s Dirty Water"

"The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating the company for evidence of criminal wrongdoing in a massive coal ash spill. But this comes too late for some North Carolina residents, who feel abandoned by regulators."

"ON THE DAN RIVER, N.C. — Security is high at the Duke Energy power plant in Eden, N.C., a month after the plant spilled 35 million gallons of toxic coal-ash slurry into the Dan River. And it isn’t hard to see what has made company officials nervous.

Federal prosecutors and environmental advocacy groups are investigating Duke, the country’s largest electricity provider, for evidence of criminal wrongdoing. Thousands of people in towns downriver are angry and scared; town officials are openly complaining that Duke kept them out of the loop at key moments after the spill. That intense scrutiny is an uncomfortable development for a company accustomed to cozy relationships with North Carolina officials. The state’s governor, Pat McCrory, spent 29 years as a Duke Energy employee and has benefited handsomely from its support of his campaigns.

With the riverside plant compound under close guard, the only way for most people to get a close look is from the placid waterway along the border of North Carolina and Virginia where the coal ash spilled."

Jonathan M. Katz reports for Aljazeera America March 5, 2014.

Source: Aljazeera America, 03/06/2014