Feds, Duke Energy settle on pollution at coal-burning plants

AP News
Posted: Sep 10, 2015 12:13 PM

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The largest U.S. electric company and the Obama administration are settling a 15-year-old legal case over claims that Duke Energy violated federal clean air laws by modifying coal-fired power generators without required air pollution controls.

The settlement proposed Thursday with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Justice Department requires Duke Energy to pay a civil penalty of $975,000, shut down one coal-burning unit and spend $4.4 million on environmental mitigation projects.

Charlotte-based Duke Energy recently shut down 11 of the 13 North Carolina units at five power plants. The settlement makes those closures permanent.

The government's initial 2000 lawsuit was set for a trial beginning next month after legal maneuvering that included a 2007 U.S. Supreme Court decision agreeing with EPA's interpretation of Clean Air Act regulations.