Judge rejects state agency's bid to stop Duke Energy from removing coal ash from

RALEIGH, N.C. – A judge has rejected a bid by North Carolina’s environment agency to block Duke Energy from removing toxic coal ash from more plants than required under a new state law.

Duke energy has asked to add three power plants to the list of four plants where they will begin scooping the ash, which is leaking arsenic, lead and other pollutants into waterways.

Superior Court Judge Paul Ridgeway heard arguments Monday as the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources sought to stop Duke Energy from going beyond the law. Environmental groups asked the judge to back Duke’s plan.

The state agency argues Duke Energy has only so much money and time to clean out the problem sites. It says it’s also trying to limit costs being passed to consumers.