- Associated Press - Thursday, June 28, 2018

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - North Carolina’s top attorney says he’s going to challenge a decision allowing the country’s No. 2 electricity company to charge consumers hundreds of millions of dollars to clean up mountains of coal-ash waste.

State utilities regulators last week said they would review Duke Energy’s cleanup costs in central and western North Carolina and fined the company’s regional operating unit $70 million for mishandling coal ash over the years. The ash was left by burning coal to produce power.

Attorney General Josh Stein said Thursday the North Carolina Utilities Commission decision dumps $475 million for cleanup on consumers and he’ll challenge it in the state Supreme Court.

Stein said in April he’s also challenging the commission’s decision to pass along cleanup costs to Duke Energy Progress customers in eastern North Carolina.

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