NC regulator fines Duke Energy nearly $7M for coal ash spill

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina environmental regulators say they’re fining the country’s largest electric company nearly $7 million for pollution related to a big spill of liquefied coal ash in 2014.

The Department of Environmental Quality said Tuesday that Duke Energy’s $6.6 million fine is for violations surrounding the February 2014 coal ash spill at the company’s Dan River power plant in Eden.

The agency says the civil penalties could be increased because this fine covers violations Duke Energy admitted when it pleaded guilty to federal pollution crimes nine months ago. The company agreed to pay $102 million in fines and restitution.

Duke Energy said in a statement that it’s reviewing whether to challenge the fine. The company says water quality in the Dan River returned to normal quickly after the spill.

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