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Press Release

Duke Energy Subsidiaries Charged With Clean Water Act Violations

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of North Carolina
United States Attorney Anne M. Tompkins Western District Of North Carolina

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The United States Attorney’s Offices for the Eastern, Middle, and Western Districts of North Carolina, along with the Department of Justice – Environmental Crimes Section, filed criminal charges today against three subsidiaries of Duke Energy Corporation: Duke Energy Business Services LLC, Duke Energy Carolinas LLC, and Duke Energy Progress, Inc. for multiple violations of the Clean Water Act.

The three U.S. Attorney’s Offices filed separate criminal bills of information in their respective federal courts, alleging violations of the Clean Water Act at the following Duke facilities: Dan River Steam Station (Rockingham County); Cape Fear Steam Electric Plant (Chatham County); Asheville Steam Electric Generating Plant (Buncombe County); H.F. Lee Steam Electric Plant (Wayne County); and Riverbend Steam Station (Gaston County). The alleged violations include unlawfully failing to maintain equipment at the Dan River and Cape Fear facilities and unlawfully discharging coal ash and/or coal ash wastewater from impoundments at the Dan River, Asheville, Lee, and Riverbend facilities.

The U.S. Attorney’s Offices for Middle and Western Districts also filed papers asking their courts to transfer the cases to be heard in the Eastern District of North Carolina.

The defendants face a maximum penalty on each charged count of five years probation; a fine in an amount of the greater of not less than $2,500 nor more than $25,000 per day of violation; $200,000.00; or twice the gross gain or loss; restitution; and a special assessment of $125.00.

Persons directly and proximately harmed as a result of the conduct charged in this matter may have rights under the Crime Victims’ Rights Act. See 18 U.S.C. § 3771. If you believe that you are a crime victim in this matter, please contact the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina at no later than March 6, 2015.

A criminal information is not a finding of guilt. A corporation charged by criminal information is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

The U.S. Attorney’s Offices will have no further comment on this matter until after court proceedings.

U.S. v. Duke Energy

Updated March 19, 2015