"NC regulators shielded Duke's coal ash pollution...RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Over the last year, environmental groups have tried three times to use the federal Clean Water Act to force Duke Energy to clear out leaky coal ash dumps like the one that ruptured last week, spewing enough toxic sludge into a North Carolina river to fill 73 Olympic-sized pools.
Each time, they say, their efforts have been stymied — by the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
The state agency has blocked the citizen lawsuits by intervening at the last minute to assert its own authority under the federal act to take enforcement action. After negotiating with Duke, the state proposed settlements where the nation's largest electricity provider pays modest fines but is under no requirement to actually clean up its coal ash ponds."
North Carolina has become one of the most ideological wingnut States in the country in recent years, and here is the result- a perfect example of what Republicans mean when they talk about "deregulation." At this point, the coal ash sludge is still leaking into the river, and no one has a clue how much damage is going to be done, or what is going to be required to clean it up.
Oh, and did I mention that the current Republican governor of North Carolina worked for Duke Energy for 28 years? I'm sure that won't affect the State's response one bit.