Breaking News: Federal charges filed against Duke Energy on coal ash violations

Three U.S. Attorney’s Offices filed separate criminal bills of information in their respective federal courts, alleging violations of the Clean Water Act at the following Duke facilities: Dan River Steam Station; Cape Fear Steam Electric Plant; Asheville Steam Electric Generating Plant; H.F. Lee Steam Electric Plant; and Riverbend Steam Station. Illustration shows the relationship between public water intakes (yellow) and coal ash impoundments (red.) (© SELC)

This afternoon federal prosecutors filed criminal charges against Duke Energy for illegal coal ash discharges in North Carolina. 

SELC Senior Attorney Frank Holleman released the following statement in response to this news:

“Today, Duke Energy has admitted that it committed environmental crimes in its coal ash storage across North Carolina. We informed Duke Energy and DENR of these violations of the Clean Water Act in 2013, yet Duke Energy’s polluting coal ash storage has yet to be cleaned up and has now resulted in criminal prosecutions. Duke Energy cannot buy its way out of its coal ash scandal, it has to clean its way out. Duke Energy and its executives must show the people of North Carolina that they are sorry for these crimes by moving the dangerous and polluting coal ash to safe, dry, lined storage away from our rivers and drinking water supplies.”

SELC represents the following citizens groups in court to clean up Duke Energy’s coal ash pollution from all 14 leaking Duke Energy sites across North Carolina: Appalachian Voices, Cape Fear Riverwatch, Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation, Dan River Basin Association, MountainTrue, Neuse Riverkeeper Foundation, Roanoke River Basin Association, Sierra Club, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, Waterkeeper Alliance, Winyah Rivers Foundation, and Yadkin Riverkeeper.

Read the press release from the Department of Justice.

Review the Criminal Bill of Information.

Read more about our coal ash work.

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