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Duke Energy

Duke Energy Fined $102M for Clean Water Act Crimes

Duke EnergyThree subsidiaries of Duke Energy, the largest utility in the US, pleaded guilty to nine criminal violations of the Clean Water Act at several of its North Carolina facilities and agreed to pay a $68 million criminal fine and spend $34 million on environmental projects and land conservation to benefit rivers and wetlands in North Carolina and Virginia.

Four of the charges are the direct result of the massive coal ash spill from the Dan River steam station into the Dan River near Eden, North Carolina, in February 2014. The remaining violations were discovered as the scope of the investigation broadened based on allegations of historical violations at the companies’ other facilities.

Under the plea agreement, both Duke Energy Carolinas and Duke Energy Progress, must certify that they have reserved sufficient assets to meet legal obligations with respect to its coal ash impoundments within North Carolina, obligations estimated to be about $3.4 billion.

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2 thoughts on “Duke Energy Fined $102M for Clean Water Act Crimes

  1. Unfortunately, it is extremely unlikely that this will spur Duke or other major utilities to find better ways of protecting against spills and other discharges. Haven’t they and other companies taken these plea deals in the past, which they can easily afford, and simply continued with business as usual?
    The story notes “nine criminal violations” with guilty pleas. Why aren’t Duke management people being sent to jail over this???

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