Monday, March 24, 2014

Duke Energy Caught Dumping Million Gallons Of Contaminated Water into River

Well this is just great:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- North Carolina regulators say Duke Energy illegally pumped 61 million gallons of contaminated water from a coal ash pit into the Cape Fear River, marking the eighth time in less than a month the nation's largest electricity company has been cited for environmental violations.
The pumping violated the terms of Duke's wastewater permit at its Cape Fear Plant, State Department of Environment and Natural Resources spokesman Jamie Kritzer said Thursday. Kritzer said the agency has issued Duke a formal notice of violation, which could result in hefty fines.

Regulators from the agency said the illegal pumping had been going on for months. It wasn't immediately clear if Duke's efforts to empty the pond were related to a crack in the earthen dam holding back the coal ash. Duke first disclosed the existence of the crack to regulators on Thursday.

Inspectors are trying to determine the cause of the crack, but the dike does not appear to be in imminent danger of collapse, said State Dam Safety Engineer Steve McEvoy.

Duke did not respond Thursday to requests for comment from The Associated Press.

A Feb. 2 pipe collapse at a similar Duke coal ash dump in Eden coated 70 miles of the Dan River with toxic sludge. Duke has nearly three dozen other ash pits spread out at 14 coal-fired power plants across the state.
Any negative attention Duke gets from this is important, mainly because it is likely the only meaningful consequence they will face for what they've done. Just like the banks and so many other major corporations, they do these things knowing they will eventually get caught and eventually have to pay some minor fine that is way cheaper than not breaking the law.

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