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NC moves to fine Duke over coal ash pollution near Wilmington

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NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- Duke Energy is feeling the heat from the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

The agency sent a letter to Duke today saying the company must start addressing groundwater contamination issues from the Sutton steam plant. Duke Energy now has 15 days to respond to the notice of violation issued by DENR concerning that groundwater contamination.

Folks in Flemington, on the outskirts of New Hanover County near the plant, feel like they have the most to lose.

"Power plant was here when we moved here, and it has been spewing that stuff out for all these years," Kenneth Sandlin said.

He has called Flemington home for more than 50 years. He's been drinking the water that long, too.

"It could get better if they bring us water from somewhere else," Sandlin said.

He lives in the shadow of the Sutton power plant, whose coal ash ponds are contaminating the water table, the state says. He knows changes to their groundwater are coming, but he doesn't think it is happening fast enough.

"Our wells continue to test perfectly fine for quality according to state and federal standards," CFPUA spokesman Mike McGill said.

McGill says it's true the plant could contaminate groundwater. This is why they are building the new water lines to Flemington. The pollution is not currently a problem for their groundwater, he says, and it won't be before Flemington gets new water coming straight from the water treatment plant.

Duke Energy says it is on track for having an excavation plan for the coal ash basins at Sutton by Nov. 15.

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NCDENR Hypocrisy

What a joke! First the NCDENR turns a blind eye to Duke Energy's violations over many decades when it comes to the disposal of coal ash dumps, then our "esteemed" legislature fails to pass a law requiring that these dumps be properly lined and then the NCDENR turns around and threatens to fine Duke Energy over one of these unlined dumps.

Congratulations NCDENR. I'm actually starting to feel sorry for Duke Energy… something I thought would've been impossible after what happened last January!

Duke's Fine

There should be some way of penalizing Duke and other companies when matters like this hit. Because all they will do is raise their rates to recoup their money from us. Hit them in a way they cannot hit us the paying customer. Why penalize us for something we had nothing to do with. Would be great if anytime I am charged for something I could tell Uncle Sam to raise my social security to cover the cost.

Duke

I don't have any ties to Duke the problem was CPL they got rid of it when they sold out to Duke they don't need to fine them just give them time to clean up the problem !

Go ahead and fine Duke all

Go ahead and fine Duke all you care to, say at least 100 million for this one, they are the big bad guy's, but don't worry, they will either pay the fine and raise our rates to recoup their loss's or they will just close their doors, which is not a bad idea, would be a lot more eco friendly for swure, and a lot quieter for the area, and by the way, where exactly is these fines going to go? back to the customers????????

fine

my bill going up again

Coal Ashe

Nothing will happen. Our current crop of leaders do not care about the public at large. They only care about money & if thier family in near a disaster. All current leaders need to be voted out and a new set of leaders who are not in office voted in. Someone with no experiece could not do worse. Votes also have to take some blame because they keep voting reasons other than qualifications. I won't explain because it would cause an uproar.