Duke Energy Settles Groundwater Case

Thursday, October 1, 2015 @ 06:10 PM gHale

Duke Energy reached a settlement with the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ) for groundwater violations at the company’s retired Steam Electric plant in Wilmington and another NC facility.

The $7 million settlement will resolve former, current and future groundwater issues at all 14 North Carolina coal facilities, including the retired Sutton plant, according to Duke Energy.

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In March, NCDEQ fined Duke Energy $25.1 million for groundwater violations at the Wilmington Sutton Plant. The company appealed the fine and cited a number of instances where evidence showed the regulator acted contrary to state law, the agency’s own rules, policies, and procedures and the longstanding interpretation of the regulations.

NCDEQ recognized it didn’t follow its own procedures and didn’t allow Duke Energy the chance to perform corrective actions and groundwater assessments before issuing notices of violations and fines.

Duke Energy will pay $7 million to resolve all of the groundwater violations at the 14 North Carolina facilities. Additionally the settlement restates the company’s June 2015 commitment to move forward with plans and to remediate groundwater near the ash basins at Sutton.