The plaintiffs say Duke is misleading the public about its environmental record, and could face federal sanctions and a hit to its public image in Charlotte, where the utility is headquartered. Alleged environmental damage by Duke could also pose challenges for the Obama administration, which has strong ties to the company.
The Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) and the Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation (CRF) filed a notice of intent on Tuesday announcing that they plan to sue Duke for alleged violations of the Clean Water Act.
The plaintiffs claim Duke allowed carcinogenic chemicals from coal ash storage facilities to leak into Mountain Island Lake, Charlotte’s primary drinking water reservoir. “Duke is discharging polluted water into the lake. The pollution includes arsenic, cobalt, boron, barium, strontium, manganese, zinc, and iron,” SELC and CRF claimed in a Tuesday news release.
Duke’s closeness with the Obama administration could be problematic for the president, who is already under pressure from environmentalist groups to kill the Keystone XL pipeline.
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