Duke Energy reaches $7 million deal with NC on coal ash

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Duke Energy agreed Tuesday to pay North Carolina regulators $7 million to settle allegations of groundwater pollution at its coal ash pits and to perform accelerated cleanups costing millions of dollars at four sites.

The agreement came as lawyers for the country's largest electric company and the state were preparing courtroom arguments regarding a $25 million fine over groundwater pollution at a Wilmington plant, the state's largest-ever penalty for environmental damage.

VW just the latest in long history of cheating car companies

WASHINGTON (AP) — In stock car racing, there's an old adage: If you ain't cheatin', you ain't tryin'. You could say the same sometimes for auto makers up against stricter environmental rules.

Volkswagen is far from the first company to stand accused of trying to game required emissions tests. Almost since the passage of the Clean Air Act in 1970, major manufacturers of cars, trucks and heavy equipment have been busted for using what regulators call "defeat devices" — typically programing a vehicle's on-board computer to boost horsepower or fuel mileage by belching out dirtier exhaust than allowed.

Volkswagen deception had health impact: Researchers

The New York Times

Researchers and health experts tell The New York Times that Volkswagen’s deception over diesel emissions testing contributed to air pollution, which could be estimated to have contributed to more than 100 deaths.

Hungary frets over fallout of VW scandal on local factories

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Hungary's government is consulting with Volkswagen unit Audi and with Mercedes Benz over the potential impact on their local factories from the VW emissions-rigging scandal.

Economy Minister Mihaly Varga says about 2 million of the engines suspected of being manipulated by VW to cheat environmental standards were made in Hungary by the Audi affiliate.

EPA set to tighten smog limits as business gears for fight

WASHINGTON (AP) — Facing a court-ordered deadline, the Obama administration is preparing to finalize stricter emissions limits on smog-forming pollution linked to asthma and respiratory illness.

The move fulfills a long-delayed campaign promise by President Barack Obama, but sets up a fresh confrontation with Republicans already angry about the administration's plans to curb carbon pollution from coal-fired power plants and to regulate small streams and wetlands.

German prosecutors investigate former VW boss

BERLIN (AP) — German prosecutors on Monday opened an investigation against former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn to establish what his role was in the emissions-rigging scandal that has shaken the world's largest automaker.

The investigation will concentrate on the suspicion of fraud committed through the sale of vehicles with manipulated emissions data, and aims to determine who was responsible, prosecutors in Braunschweig said in a statement.

Brazil pledges to cut greenhouse gas emissions

STOCKHOLM (AP) — Brazil on Sunday became the first major developing country to pledge an absolute reduction in greenhouse gas emissions for an envisioned global pact against climate change.

The world's seventh biggest greenhouse gas polluter said it would cut its emissions by 37 percent by 2025 from 2005 levels by reducing deforestation and boosting the share of renewable sources in its energy mix. It also indicated an "intended reduction" of 43 percent by 2030.

Amid VW scandal, polluted Paris asks if time to dump diesel

PARIS (AP) — Guidebooks rarely mention it, but Paris is one of the most polluted cities in the rich world. The Eiffel Tower is periodically shrouded in smog, and there's one key culprit: France's disproportionately heavy reliance on diesel fuel.

Critics are increasingly questioning the need for diesel vehicles, especially after last week's discovery that Volkswagen tricked drivers worldwide into thinking their diesel engines were much cleaner than they really are.

Volkswagen faces major legal trouble in emissions scandal

WASHINGTON (AP) — Who knew about the deception, when did they know it and who directed it?

Those are among questions that state and federal investigators want answered as they plunge into the emissions scandal at Volkswagen that has cost the chief executive his job, caused stock prices to plummet and could result in billions of dollars in fines.

VW taps head of Porsche to be new CEO amid emissions scandal

BERLIN (AP) — Volkswagen's board appointed the head of its Porsche unit as CEO on Friday, handing longtime company insider Matthias Mueller the task of trying to lead the world's top-selling automaker past a growing emissions scandal.

The company also said it was suspending some employees and would reorganize its North America operations after admitting it used a piece of engine software to cheat on diesel car emissions tests in the U.S.


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