Duke Energy is finally facing charges in connection to pollution at five nearby power plants. These plants have long been producers of dangerous coal ash, which prosecutors are claiming was illegally dumped. These violations of the Clean Water Act are believed to have been allowed for years by Duke Energy, the country’s largest electricity company.
If true, the company has been putting both the environment and individuals in serious danger by polluting major waterways with toxic debris from leaking coal ash ponds. And they are not just being accused of negligently leaking toxins; they are also accused of intentionally dumping coal ash water.
As personal injury lawyers in Greenville, the people are our biggest concern. Coal ash, which is left after coal is burned, contains many toxic metals like arsenic, mercury, lead, and others – all of which are dangerous to humans. When these toxins get into drinking water, the health risks are staggering. They include the risk of cancer, birth defects, heart, lung, and kidney disease, and many others.
Duke Energy has already paid $102 million in fines for previous settlements, but they’ve yet to face criminal charges. The company has stated that, “We are setting a new standard for coal ash management and implementing smart, sustainable solutions for all of our ash basins.”
Only a lengthy investigation will determine exactly what potential punishments Duke Energy will face, but a senior attorney for the Southern Environmental Law Center is very serious about holding them accountable saying, “The important point is this: Duke Energy cannot buy its way out of its coal ash scandal, it has to clean its way out.”
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