US judge keeps alive Duke Energy water pollution lawsuit

August 16, 2018 - 5:20 pm

GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — A federal judge is keeping alive a lawsuit accusing the country's second-largest electricity company of violating water pollution laws by allowing potentially toxic coal ash sludge into neighboring waterways.

U.S. District Judge Loretta Biggs ruled this week that environmentalists can keep suing Duke Energy.

Biggs says the pollution claims involving Duke Energy's Stokes County coal-burning power plant don't conflict with a separate lawsuit by North Carolina's environmental agency. Biggs added the lawsuit by the group Appalachian Voices and the state and local NAACP chapters adds to government efforts to force the company's compliance with environmental laws.

Duke Energy spokeswoman Paige Sheehan says there's no evidence that the coal ash has affected nearby drinking water wells.

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