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.

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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.