RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina's environmental agency sought late Monday to delay its own settlement with Duke Energy a week after a busted pipe at one of the company's coal ash dumps spewed enough toxic sludge into the Dan River to fill 73 Olympic-sized pools.
Lawyers for the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources asked a judge to disregard their proposed settlement with the nation's largest electricity provider. Under the deal, Duke would have paid fines of $99,111 over groundwater pollution leaking from two coal dumps like the one that ruptured Feb. 2.
The state's letter came one day after a story by The Associated Press in which environmentalists criticized the arrangement as a sweetheart deal aimed at shielding Duke from far more expensive penalties the $50 billion company might face under the federal Clean Water Act. The settlement would have required Duke to study how to stop the contamination, but included no requirement for the company to actually clean up its dumps near Asheville and Charlotte.
ON THE DAN RIVER, N.C. (AP) — Canoe guide Brian Williams dipped his paddle downstream from where thousands of tons of coal ash has been spewing for days into the Dan River, turning the wooden blade flat to bring up a lump of gray sludge.
On the river bank, hundreds of workers at a Duke Energy power plant in North Carolina scrambled to plug a hole in a pipe at the bottom of a 27-acre pond where the toxic ash was stored.
Since the leak was first discovered by a security guard Sunday afternoon, Duke estimates up to 82,000 tons of ash mixed with 27 million gallons of contaminated water has spilled into the river. Officials at the nation's largest electricity provider say they cannot provide a timetable for when the leak will be fully contained, though the flow has lessened significantly as the pond has emptied.
Overall greenhouse gas emissions fell six percent in the nine northeast states participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative carbon market last year, marking the third straight year of emission cuts for the program, Reuters reports.
NEW DELHI (AP) — Think twice before taking a deep breath in New Delhi, where worsening air pollution has drawn comparisons with Beijing, the world's pollution poster child.
On bad days in India's congested capital, the air is so murky it slows traffic to a crawl. Conversations are punctuated with rasping coughs. Weak bands of sunlight filter through a grainy sky.
Air monitoring sensors around the landlocked Indian capital have routinely registered levels of small airborne particles at "hazardous" levels in recent months — three to four times New Delhi's own sanctioned limit, rivaling Beijing.
Environmental Protection Agency staff are considering a number of proposals from outside groups as they try to develop lawsuit-proof, loophole-free regulations on carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants, The New York Times reports.
The United Kingdom said it has reached its first target for greenhouse gas emissions reduction under the Kyoto protocol, with emissions in 2008-2012 running an average 22.5 percent below 1990 levels, Bloomberg reports.
DALLAS (AP) — Federal and state environmental officials said Wednesday that they've reached an agreement on portions of the Texas clean air plan that for years have been points of contention.
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said the conditional agreement on state permits will allow some operating flexibility to major air-pollution sources, such as oil refineries.
"We are pleased that the TCEQ and EPA have been able to reach an agreement for EPA to propose conditional approval of the Texas flexible permit program, and that the EPA now understands why the program is legal and effective," TCEQ Chairman Bryan Shaw said in a statement.
The U.S. Coast Guard is deciding whether to allow river transportation of fracking wastewater, and if so, how to keep water companies informed about the contents of ships carrying it, Gannett's Cincinnati.com reports.
Oil continues to wash up on some Louisiana beaches four years after the Deepwater Horizon sinking sent oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico and a number of area residents remain angry and resentful despite BP paying out billions of dollars in compensation, Reuters reports.
Environmental Protection Administrator and Boston native Gina McCarthy and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz will throw out the first pitches at the Red Sox game Tuesday, to mark Earth Day, The Hill reports.
A subsidiary of American Energy Partners, the company run by shale pioneer Aubrey McClendon, is renting seven rigs from his former firm Chesapeake Energy to drill for gas in the Utica Shale, Bloomberg reports.
The total U.S. rig count for the week remained at 1,831, according to oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc., which said that oil rigs declined while gas and miscellaneous rigs increased, Bloomberg reports.
Vermont Yankee owner Entergy has applied to scrap the 10-mile emergency planning zone around it, because of the nuclear plant's closing by year's end, raising concerns from citizen groups, The Recorder reports.
Critics complain that proposals to increase security of the nation’s power grid, drafted by the industry in the wake of an attack on a California substation last year, won’t do enough to stop anyone intent on sabotage, The Wall Street Journal reports.