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Duke Energy

Duke Energy Settlement: Spend $4.4M on Environmental Projects, Cut Coal Emissions

Duke EnergyDuke Energy will spend $4.4 million on environmental mitigation projects and pay a $975,000 civil penalty as part of a settlement reached with the EPA and US Department of Justice.

The settlement, announced yesterday, resolves long-standing claims that Duke violated the federal Clean Air Act by unlawfully modifying 13 coal-fired electricity generating units located at the Allen, Buck, Cliffside, Dan River, and Riverbend plants across North Carolina, without obtaining air permits and installing and operating the required air pollution control technologies.

Duke recently shut down 11 of the 13 units, and under the settlement those shutdowns also become a permanent and enforceable obligation under the consent decree. At the remaining two units, Duke must continuously operate pollution controls and meet interim emission limits before permanently retiring them. In addition, the settlement requires that Duke retire another unit at the Allen plant.

The EPA estimates that the settlement will reduce emissions by about 2,300 tons per year from the three Allen units, as compared to recent emission levels. With these additional retirements, total emissions from all 13 allegedly modified units —which were in excess of 51,000 tons in 2000 when the suit was filed — will be zero.

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2 thoughts on “Duke Energy Settlement: Spend $4.4M on Environmental Projects, Cut Coal Emissions

  1. Under the ‘Related Stories’ links at the top left of this article there are two other stories whose titles speak volumes: the first is titled “Duke Energy Fined $102M for Clean Water Act Crimes” (from May 18, 2015) and the second is “Duke to pay $93M for Clean Air Violations” (from Dec 23, 2009). Digging just a bit more, we also have another article titled “Duke Energy fined $25 million over coal ash pollution” (from Mar 26, 2015).
    I posted a link under that first related story that is worth repeating here:
    “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???
    The Duke saga goes on and on, and it will continue going on until senior executives pay with jail time. Apparently, even large fines are failing to change corporate behavior…

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