(RALEIGH, N.C.) — The North Carolina State Department of Environmental and Natural Resources fined Duke Energy Progress $25.1 million for coal ash contamination at a plant near Wilmington, N.C., Tuesday.
Duke Energy, the department says, “allowed a host of coal ash contaminants to leach into the groundwater at the facility for several years.” The proceeds from the fine will go into a state fund for public schools.
“In addition to holding the utility accountable for past contamination we have found across the state,” DENR Secretary Donald R. van der Vaart said, “we are also moving expeditiously to remove the threat to our waterways and groundwater from coal ash ponds statewide.”
The previous largest penalty for environmental violations leveled by the North Carolina DENR was $5.6 million.
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