- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 13, 2015

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Environmental groups are trying to stop what they call a sweetheart deal between Gov. Pat McCrory’s environmental regulators and his former employer over the liability Duke Energy faces from toxic coal ash polluting groundwater.

The groups and Southern Environmental Law Center attorneys went to court Tuesday against the deal claiming to settle all groundwater penalties the country’s largest electric company could face from the state Department of Environmental Quality.

An administrative judge has approved the $7 million deal covering ash pits at all 14 coal-burning power plants after Duke Energy appealed a $25 million fine at one plant near Wilmington.

The McCrory administration had touted the fine as the state’s record penalty for environmental damage.

A Duke spokeswoman notes state regulators will oversee closure of all basins by 2029.

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Information from: The News & Observer, https://www.newsobserver.com


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