Duke Energy pleads guilty for its coal ash spills
May 15, 2015 at 10:30AM
"Guilty." Julia Janson, chief legal officer for Duke Energy, had to say that word over and over in a federal courthouse in Greenville Thursday as the giant utility pleaded guilty to nine misdemeanor violations of the federal Clean Water Act.
As expected, the company will be required to pay $102 million in fines and restitution for its crimes, part of a plea agreement Duke attorneys reached with federal prosecutors following last year's 39,000-ton coal ash spill in Eden's Dan River.
Duke was also facing criminal charges brought by federal prosecutors for illegal ash discharges at their Mount Holly, Asheville, Goldsboro and Moncure plants.