Duke-DEQ coal ash settlement not such a great deal for citizens

CONTACT: Amy Adams, N.C. Campaign Coordinator; (cell) 252-944-6459; amy@appvoices.org

Duke Energy and the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality (formerly the Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources) today announced an estimated $20 million settlement over groundwater contamination from leaking coal ash pits at the utility’s facilities in North Carolina.

The following is a statement from Amy Adams, N.C. Campaign Coordinator with Appalachian Voices and former regional supervisor with the state agency.

“In another typical move, DEQ is cutting Duke Energy a break and failing to demand action. Apparently, they missed the state motto, Esse quam videri, ‘To be rather than to seem,’ because seeming to be environmental protectors is about all they have done with this settlement.

“The state is not only backing off the original record fine and settling for a mere $500,000 per site, it’s also agreeing to limit its ability to seek enforcement of any past, present or future contamination at any of the sites.

“To add insult to injury, it is also agreeing to the wholesale abandonment of protections for Sutton Lake, a subsistence fishing spot for local residents.”