PA Power Companies Not Liable

The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania ruled February 6 that power companies are not liable for alleged modification, reconstruction, and operation violations of the Clean Air Act and Pennsylvania Air Pollution Control Act. The decision reverses an earlier decision that held that certain state law claims for damages were not time-barred based on a continuing violation.

Massive Coal Ash Spill in NC

Environmental groups are increasing vocal about coal ash following the February 2 spill from a storage lagoon at Duke Energy's Dan River Stream Station in North Carolina. Tens of thousands of tons of coal ash have been released into the river as a result of the ongoing spill, and utility employees finally controlled the release this weekend. Utility employees and federal and state regulators are working to fully assess its scope and impact. Duke announced February 3 that coal ash and ash basin water had been released into the Dan River the day before, when a stormwater pipe beneath the storage lagoon burst. The three coal-fired units at the site were retired in April 2012 and replaced by a combined cycle station. As a result, the Southern Environmental Law Center is calling for coal ash to be moved away from drinking water reserves, and particularly not to be stored in unlined lagoons. The Sierra Club and others are making similar statements.