North Carolina: Attorney general challenges regulators over coal ash charges

The Associated Press – North Carolina’s attorney general on Wednesday challenged regulators for allowing Duke Energy to start charging consumers hundreds of millions of dollars to clean up coal ash dumps and add a potential profit margin.

State Attorney General Josh Stein’s office said in a filing to the North Carolina Utilities Commission he considers its decision to pass along what could total billions of dollars for handling the potentially toxic chemicals in coal ash to be “unlawful, unjust, unreasonable, or unwarranted.”

Stein is appealing the commission’s February decision to the state Supreme Court.

The commission allowed the company’s Duke Energy Progress operating subsidiary to charge customers $232 million over five years for coal ash clean-up costs racked up already. Regulators simultaneously assessed the company a $30 million mismanagement penalty for what it called pervasive shortcomings in handling coal ash. The company pleaded guilty to federal environmental crimes in 2015 for its coal ash handling.

Read more at The Associated Press.

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Coal ash spill along a river
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US Environmental Protection Agency [cropped]