N.C. sides with Duke in appeal of coal ash ruling

The Associated Press

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RALEIGH — North Carolina regulators are joining with Duke Energy in appealing a judge's ruling on cleaning up groundwater pollution leeching from the company's coal ash dumps.

The state Environmental Management Commission filed notice Monday that it intends to appeal a March 6 ruling by Superior Court Judge Paul Ridgeway.

The commission and Duke contend North Carolina law does not give the state the authority to order an immediate cleanup. Ridgeway ruled the 15-member commission appointed by Gov. Pat McCrory and Republican legislative leaders has been misinterpreting the law.

Environmentalists say the decision to file an appeal directly conflicts with public statements from McCrory suggesting his administration is getting tough with his former employer in the wake of the Feb. 2 coal ash spill that coated 70 miles of the Dan River.

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