Press Release | July 18, 2019

United States, North Carolina and Virginia File Suit Against Duke Energy for Harm from Dan River Coal Ash Spill

Statement from Frank Holleman of the Southern Environmental Law Center

Chapel Hill, N.C.—The following is a statement from Frank Holleman, senior attorney at the Southern Environmental Law Center, regarding a complaint filed today in federal court by the U.S. Department of Justice, North Carolina, and Virginia against Duke Energy for harm from its coal ash spill into the Dan River.

“Even over five years later, the fallout from Duke Energy's Dan River coal ash spill is not over.  The complaint filed by the U.S. Department of Justice, North Carolina, and Virginia underscores once again the harm that Duke Energy inflicted upon North Carolina and Virginia when it illegally dumped thousands of tons of coal ash into the Dan River. Duke Energy admitted that it failed in cleaning up the river because it was unable to remove more than 90 percent of the ash that it dumped into the Dan River.  This suit shows again that Duke Energy must remove all its coal ash from all its unlined riverfront pits in North Carolina so that we will never again have an ongoing tragedy like the Dan River catastrophe.”

For more than 30 years, the Southern Environmental Law Center has used the power of the law to champion the environment of the Southeast. With over 70 attorneys and nine offices across the region, SELC is widely recognized as the Southeast’s foremost environmental organization and regional leader. SELC works on a full range of environmental issues to protect our natural resources and the health and well-being of all the people in our region.

Are you a reporter and would like more information? Please visit our press contact page for a full list of SELC’s press contacts.

Press Contacts

Kathleen Sullivan

Senior Communications Manager (NC)

Phone: 919-945-7106
Email: [email protected]