US charges Duke with illegal pollution from 5 coal ash dumps

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Federal prosecutors have filed criminal charges against Duke Energy for illegal pollution from coal ash dumps at five North Carolina power plants.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Raleigh charged Duke on Friday with felony violations of the Clean Water Act. The prosecutors say the nation's largest electricity company engaged in illegal dumping for years at coal-fired power plants in Eden, Moncure, Asheville, Goldsboro and Mt. Holly.

Duke said Friday that it expects to pay $102 million in fines and restitution in the case.

The investigation into Duke began last year after a pipe collapsed under a coal ash dump at the Eden plant, coating 70 miles of the Dan River in gray sludge. But in court filings, prosecutors allege there had been ongoing illegal dumping at the plants since 2010.