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Duke Energy admits to pattern of negligence with coal ash

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Coal ash spills into the Dan River. (File photo)

GREENVILLE, N.C. — Duke Energy confessed today to a pattern of negligence in handling coal ash that spanned 35 years and included disregarding several warnings from its own employees that could have prevented last year’s Dan River spill, the News & Record reported Thursday.

U.S. District Judge Malcolm J. Howard imposed $102 million in fines and restitution as he accepted the utility’s guilty plea to nine criminal misdemeanors linked to the February 2014 spill and to less-overt misdeeds at four other plants with leaking or improperly maintained coal ash storage ponds.

Read more: Greensboro News & Record