(RALEIGH, N.C.) — One of the worst coal ash spills in U.S. history is now the subject of a criminal investigation.
Earlier this month, as much as 39,000 tons of potentially toxic coal ash spewed from a Duke Energy power plant into the Dan River in North Carolina. Now federal prosecutors have issued subpoenas to Duke Energy and the state’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources to produce records before a federal grand jury in Raleigh.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Raleigh said it could not confirm or deny the existence of any ongoing investigation, but the company and the state confirmed receipt of the subpoenas and promised to cooperate.
Under the Clean Water Act, defendants prosecuted could face fines exceeding any civil penalties or even jail time, according to the Charlotte Observer.
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