Judge Issues Ruling in Favor of DEQ in Coal Ash Closure Appeal


RALEIGH - Today, the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) presiding over the Duke Energy appeal of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality’s (DEQ) coal ash closure decisions issued another significant ruling in favor of DEQ. The ALJ granted partial summary judgment to DEQ on two issues in the appeal:

  • DEQ provided adequate notice to Duke Energy prior to issuing the April 1, 2019 closure election decision.
  • DEQ properly limited Duke Energy to filing a single closure plan for each coal ash impoundment.

Today’s order is limited to these two issues, and the remaining issues in the case will continue to move forward.

In August, the ALJ affirmed that DEQ had proper legal authority to elect the closure option for each coal ash impoundment. 

“The judge’s ruling confirms that DEQ acted openly and transparently as we made an informed decision on the closure of the coal ash impoundments,” said DEQ Secretary Michael Regan. “DEQ stands by its determination to excavate coal ash impoundments across the state. We will continue to defend that decision as this case moves forward.”

Full text of the order is available at: https://files.nc.gov/ncdeq/Coal%20Ash/2019-10-28-Final-Decision-Partial-MSJ--OAHDocs.pdf.

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