- Associated Press - Friday, February 20, 2015

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Federal prosecutors have filed the first of what are expected to be several criminal charges against Duke Energy for illegal pollution from its coal ash dumps in North Carolina.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Raleigh charged Duke on Friday with a felony count of the negligent discharge of pollutants in violation of the Clean Water Act. The prosecutors say employees of the nation’s largest electricity company illegally dumped contaminated wastewater into the Neuse River from the Lee Steam Electric Plant in Goldsboro between 2010 and 2014.

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

The investigation into Duke began last year after a pipe collapsed under a coal ash dump in Eden, coating 70 miles of the Dan River in gray sludge.

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