Duke Energy to pay $1M to settle latest coal ash suit

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WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) – Duke Energy is contributing at least $1 million to protect a river, lake and wetlands near Wilmington to settle a lawsuit over coal ash stored at a closed power plant.

The company announced in a news release the money will be used to create the Cape Fear River Restoration and Preservation Fund. The utility promised Wednesday to match up to $250,000 given to the fund by other donors.

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A state judge ordered Duke Energy to dig up coal ash from the now closed Sutton power plant near Wilmington. Environmental groups also sued in federal court, saying the coal ash had contaminated Sutton Lake.

The Southern Environmental Law Center says the utility has settled lawsuits with the group over eight of its coal powered plants with six of them remaining unresolved.

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