RALEIGH: Coal ash bill moves on in NC Senate - WNCN: News, Weather

Senators decide not to force Duke to pay for coal ash cleanup

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RALEIGH, N.C. -

A bill requiring Duke Energy to clean up all its ash ponds across the state is one step closure to becoming law. But ratepayers may still have to foot the bill.

Tuesday, state senators unanimously voted in favor of Senate Bill 729 for its second reading. The bill requires Duke Energy to have all 33 of its ash ponds clean up by 2029.

Read more about the bill here.

The senate chamber was full of debate before the bill was unanimously passed.

Sen. Mike Woodard offered an amendment that would prevent Duke from being able to pass any of the costs of cleaning up the ash ponds to ratepayers.

Sen. Tom Apodaca argued that it’s not the General Assembly’s job to decide who will foot the bill.

“If we're not going to use the (utilities) commission for what they're legally required to do, why have them?” asked Apodaca, “They're better suited to make these decisions,” he added.

“I don’t think we should have to put the burden on working families, small businesses, seniors on fixed incomes with rate increases for what I believe is Duke's obligation,” said Woodard.

The bill will now go to the Senate for a final vote before heading the House. If the House passes the bill, it would then go to the desk of Gov. Pat McCrory.

McCrory worked for Duke Energy for 29 years.

Copyright 2014 WNCN. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this article.

Jonathan Rodriguez

Jonathan Rodriguez is an investigative reporter and member of the WNCN Investigates team. His storytelling specialty is connecting the dots to get to the truth, with a goal of delivering results for our community. If you have something you’d like WNCN to investigate, contact Jonathan.

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