Duke Energy coal ash spill stirs grand jury, potential EPA action

|About: Duke Energy Corporation (DUK)|By:, SA News Editor

A federal grand jury will convene today in Raleigh, N.C., to question Duke Energy (DUK) and state regulators after the company poured as much as 39K tons of coal ash into the Dan River last month.

DUK and North Carolina’s governor, a former DUK executive, are in dispute over the company’s obligations to clean up the spill and remove coal ash in 32 other such storage ponds in the state.

As part of a federal criminal investigation, prosecutors are reviewing records, photos and emails exchanged between DUK and state regulators about the spill.

The spill underscores a broader problem: Coal remains a top source of energy in the U.S., yet the EPA has no single federal standard requiring that coal ash storage ponds be lined and no common standard for pit or pond structures and monitoring.