WILMINGTON: Judge: Coal ash lawsuit in NC can move forward - WNCN: News, Weather

Judge: Coal ash lawsuit in NC can move forward

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Duke Energy stores 2.6 million tons of coal ash next to its Sutton Plant off Highway 421 near Wilmington. (WECT) Duke Energy stores 2.6 million tons of coal ash next to its Sutton Plant off Highway 421 near Wilmington. (WECT)
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  • NC legislators approve regulating toxic coal ash

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    Wednesday, August 20 2014 8:36 PM EDT2014-08-21 00:36:33 GMT
    File photoFile photo
    North Carolina lawmakers have approved legislation they say makes the state the nation's first to address decades of toxic water pollution from residue left behind by coal-burning electricity plants.
    North Carolina lawmakers have approved legislation they say makes the state the nation's first to address decades of toxic water pollution from residue left behind by coal-burning electricity plants.
  • NC legislators push bid to regulate toxic coal ash

    NC legislators push bid to regulate toxic coal ash

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 4:14 PM EDT2014-08-20 20:14:40 GMT
    File PhotoFile Photo
    Lawmakers are focusing on legislation they say makes the state the nation's first to address decades of toxic water pollution from residue left behind by coal-burning electricity plants.
    Lawmakers are focusing on legislation they say makes the state the nation's first to address decades of toxic water pollution from residue left behind by coal-burning electricity plants.
  • NC lawmakers reach compromise on coal ash measure

    NC lawmakers reach compromise on coal ash measure

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 10:47 PM EDT2014-08-20 02:47:46 GMT
    House and Senate leaders say lawmakers have reached a compromise on legislation that would make Duke Energy curb pollution from its 33 coal ash dumps.
    House and Senate leaders say lawmakers have reached a compromise on legislation that would make Duke Energy curb pollution from its 33 coal ash dumps.
RALEIGH, N.C. -

A federal judge says a lawsuit accusing Duke Energy coal ash pits of polluting a lake near Wilmington can move forward.

The Southern Environmental Law Center filed a lawsuit last year on behalf of environmental groups, saying the toxic waste was polluting Sutton Lake and violating the federal Clean Water Act.

Duke Energy sought to dismiss the case, saying the groups didn't have a role because a state environmental agency already took enforcement action.

Federal Judge Louise Flanagan said Monday the state's enforcement action dealt with groundwater violations, but Sutton Lake is a public waterway and subject to the provisions of the federal law.

The ruling allows environmental groups to request internal Duke Energy documents.

Duke spokeswoman Erin Culbertson said the company will vigorously defend the litigation.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

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