Duke Energy charged with 9 Clean Water Act violations from coal ash

Late Friday afternoon, after many had gone home for the weekend, news broke that The Department of Justice filed federal charges in all three of NC’s federal district courts against Duke Energy for violations of the Clean Water Act. Duke is charged with 9 misdemeanor violations for polluting four of NC’s rivers. In order to settle the charges, Duke [...]

Duke Energy expecting $100 million fine in federal coal ash investigation

In a plea deal to match other major environmental disaster plea deals, Duke Energy appears to be expecting fines around $100 million to resolve, in part, the federal criminal investigation initiated after the massive Dan River coal ash disaster in 2014. Official announcements are pending in the days to come about the criminal charges, but [...]

1 year since Dan River: 3 ways to prevent another coal ash disaster

One year ago today, Duke Energy dumped nearly 39,000 tons of coal ash and 24 million gallons of wastewater into the Dan River near Eden, North Carolina. That’s a total of 140,000 tons of toxic waste and wastewater combined into the sensitive eco-system of the Dan River. By the end of two weeks, a dark grey [...]

Countdown to coal ash rules from EPA

We are exactly 9 days away from the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) official release of final rules for coal ash regulation that have been in the works ever since the catastrophic Kingston disaster of 2008. Since then, it has taken almost 6 years and countless efforts by citizens and advocates to sound the alarm on [...]

What the Clean Power Plan Means for the Southeast

On Wednesday, June 18, the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Clean Power Plan was published in the Federal Register, officially starting the 120-day comment period.  Released on June 2, the Clean Power Plan is EPA’s first regulation aimed at reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from existing coal-fired power plants.  In previous SACE blogs, we’ve provided a [...]

Coal Ash Still Has North Carolina Stumped

In our work to promote clean, healthy and safe energy choices in the Southeast, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy tackles some pretty complex issues; from the big-picture question of how to reduce our contribution to carbon pollution to the economic and policy implications of new clean energy technologies and environmental regulations. Solving the Southeast’s coal ash [...]

Duke Energy’s Commitment to Overspend on Coal Plants

Duke Energy is banking on charging customers in the Carolinas an estimated $7.7 billion just to keep its existing fleet of coal plants running. For at least thirteen of those units (at 5 plants), however, it is pretty clear that the additional investment is not worthwhile, and Duke Energy should change its plans. What’s worse, [...]

Remembering TN’s Coal Ash Problems After NC’s Dan River Disaster

In the wake of the recent coal ash disaster at Duke Energy’s Dan River plant in Eden, NC, environmental groups have become increasingly concerned with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation’s (TDEC) handling of toxic coal ash within the state. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Tennessee’s coal ash impoundments can hold up [...]

Dan River Disaster Recap Timeline

Having trouble keeping track of all the developments since the Dan River disaster began over a month ago? We continue to be amazed that the coal ash spill and subsequent developments have been in the news almost every day. This story has more twists and turns than the Dan River itself; sparking significant public outcry, [...]

New Southeast EPA Administrator Faces Challenges Ahead

In the first month of 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency appointed Heather McTeer Toney as the new Region 4 Administrator. The former Regional Administrator, Gwendolyn Keyes Fleming, left to become chief of staff for EPA’s new chief administrator Gina McCarthy. Mrs. Toney, a private-sector attorney by trade, served as the first woman and first African-American mayor [...]