On the eve of N.C. DEQ announcing which Duke Energy leaking coal ash pits should be excavated and cleaned up, the president of Duke Energy North Carolina wrote a Point of View attacking the North Carolina residents who have urged his company to clean up its coal ash mess (“The full cost of excavation,” May 17).
He appeared not to have acquired the humility we would expect from an officer of a corporation whose operating companies in the Carolinas just last year pleaded guilty to repeated coal ash environmental crimes, including crimes that led to the Dan River spill, or from an official of a company on criminal probation for Clean Water Act crimes.
Instead, he made the false claim that Duke Energy has based its cleanup plans on solid science. We have submitted volumes of expert analysis showing that Duke Energy’s reports have large data gaps, have manipulated models to make leaving coal ash in unlined pits appear safer and have artificially excluded neighborhoods from the analysis of contaminated groundwater.
Duke Energy is the biggest special interest in the state of North Carolina. And its goal is to avoid the consequences of its years of irresponsible and illegal coal ash practices.
Senior attorney, Southern Environmental Law Center