The pipe that spilled coal ash into the Dan River. Photo courtesy Catawba Riverkeeper


Today’s ruling from Wake County Superior Court on a petition by environmental groups intended to force Duke Energy to clean up coal ash ponds and surrounding groundwater contamination.

A Wake County judge ruled on March 6 that owners of older coal ash ponds “must take immediate action to eliminate sources of contamination” in groundwater, countering a legal argument by the N.C. Environmental Management Commission, which develops state regulations. The judge specified that pond owners cannot first propose a remediation plan; their cleanup must take place immediately.

The environmentalists who filed the suit said they are hopeful this ruling will force Duke to move all of its coal ash–from 14 N.C. ponds–into dry, lined landfills.


Order on Petition for Judicial Review (PDF)

Order on Petition for Judicial Review (Text)

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