APNewsBreak: NC delays coal ash deal with Duke


RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina's environmental agency is seeking to delay its own settlement with Duke Energy a week after a busted pipe at one of the company's coal ash dumps spewed enough toxic sludge into the Dan River to fill 73 Olympic-sized pools.

Lawyers for the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources asked a judge late Monday to disregard their proposed settlement with the nation's largest electricity provider. Under the deal, Duke would have paid fines of $99,111 for groundwater pollution leaking from two coal dumps like the one that ruptured Feb. 2.

The state's letter came one day after a story by The Associated Press in which environmentalists criticized the arrangement as a sweetheart deal aimed at shielding Duke from far more expensive penalties it might face under the federal Clean Water Act.