Protesters Ask Duke Energy To Clean Up NC Ash Pits - WSPA.com

Protesters Ask Duke Energy To Clean Up NC Ash Pits

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North Carolina regulators are pressing Duke Energy to send robot cameras up drainage pipes at all of its coal ash dumps in the state following a big spill last month that left 70 miles of the Dan River coated in toxic sludge. North Carolina regulators are pressing Duke Energy to send robot cameras up drainage pipes at all of its coal ash dumps in the state following a big spill last month that left 70 miles of the Dan River coated in toxic sludge.
ARDEN, N.C. -

Some customers are not shy about their feelings on Duke Energy and who should pick up the tab for emptying the utility’s coal ash ponds.

“To ask the ratepayers to pay for the cost of their decision as a corporation is absurd,” says customer Skip Edwards.

On Thursday, protesters stood on the shoreline of Lake Julian with a message for the power company and the governor

“They need to pay for the cleanup of their coal ash ponds,” says Susan Fischer. “That is not our responsibility."

"Gov. McCrory is trying to claim he has no influence on this process or decision,” said Gerrick Brenner with Progress NC Action.

Duke spokeswoman Paige Sheehan tells 7 On Your Side the company will pay for the cleanup at the Dan River site where 39,000 tons of toxic sludge spilled last month.

Sheehan confirms that just days ago, the utility's chief executive Lynn Good said if the state orders Duke Energy to shutdown and move its existing ash pits then customers will likely pay most of that cost.

Brenner wants McCrory to stand up for customers.

“If Pat McCrory were to say tomorrow that shareholders in the company should pay to clean up these toxic coal ash lagoons -- most people would sit up, pay attention, including members of the utility commission."

But so far, McCrory has remained neutral on the subject.

Sheehan says Duke is currently reviewing its management plans for their ash basins.

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Emily Pace
Emily is a general assignment reporter covering Buncombe, Polk, Rutherford and Henderson Counties.
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