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Judge denies Duke Energy request for stay in coal ash case

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RALEIGH, N.C. -

The Wake County Superior Court judge who ordered Duke Energy to take immediate action to eliminate sources of groundwater contamination at its coal ash ponds has denied the utility’s request for a stay in the matter.

The order was signed Wednesday by Wake Superior Court Judge Paul Ridgeway.

Ridgeway originally signed the order March 6.

Duke argued that it needed more time or else the cleanup "will impose significant material costs on Duke Energy and its customers as well as potentially affect its ability to generate power."

Duke's request for a stay was based on the grounds that Ridgeway's order "reversed a long-standing administrative interpretation and application of the North Carolina groundwater protection rule ... to the coal ash ponds located at Duke Energy's power plants in North Carolina."

· Click Here to read Duke's motion for stay

Duke also said Ridgeway's order "will have effects beyond the Ash Ponds throughout the State of North Carolina and, based upon an analysis by DENR, will materially impact 700 sites overseen by the Division of Water Resources and 2,020 sites overseen by the Division of Waste Management."

Duke has said it is committed to cleaning up coal ash ponds at its Asheville Plant, Dan River Steam Station and Riverbend Steam Station.

"These actions were set forth in a March 12, 2014, letter from Duke Energy's Chief Executive Officer to the Governor of North Carolina and will be unaffected by either the appeal or the imposition of a stay," Duke said.

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