The North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on Monday cited five more Duke Energy power plants for not having storm water permits.
These citations follow two others issued Friday against the Dan River Steam Station in Eden, where, on February 2, 39,000 tons of coal ash were funneled through a broken storm water pipe under a coal ash pond and into the Dan River.
Duke Energy faces potential fines of $25,000 per day, per violation. Regulators say they are still in the process of assessing how coal ash is stored at all 14 of Duke’s sites in North Carolina. Coal ash is a toxic sludge left over from the burning of coal in old power plants.
“It is shocking that Duke Energy was openly violating the most fundamental requirements of clean water laws, and discharging industrial storm water directly into the Dan River illegally,” Frank Holleman, senior attorney at the Southern Environmental Law Center told the Los Angeles Times.
Duke has 30 days from the issuance of the violation notices to make its case to the DENR before fines are set.
The five new citations were issued against Belews Creek Steam Station in Rockingham County, Cliffside Steam Station in Rutherford County, Lee Steam Electric Plant in Wayne County, Roxboro Steam Electric Power Plant in Person County, and Sutton Steam Electric Plant in New Hanover County.
Storm water permits are required for rainwater draining from the plants into public waterways. Last week, the Associated Press filed a public records request for a copy of Duke’s storm water permit for the Dan River plant and was told that the permit did not exist.
Also last week, internal emails and other records uncovered through a public records request by the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) show that regulators at the DENR knew about the six Duke plants without permits back in 2009.
Both the DENR and Duke Energy received subpoenas from federal prosecutors investigating the relationship between the utility giant and the agency charged with regulating it.
rest at http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/03/04/3359261/stormwater-violations-duke-energy/