Early last month 39,000 gallons of coal ash spilled out of a storage pond at a Duke Energy facility located on the banks of the Dan River. The result is that 70 miles of river bottom has been coated with this toxic waste and river life and drinking water supplies have been put in danger. The incident has brought to light the close relationship between Duke Energy and the state’s new Governor, Pat McCrory, who worked for the utility giant for 28 years.
It is stories like this that show how important our state agencies are. It is critical that agency staff be allowed to enforce the laws without fear that doing their job will cost them their job. This story also highlights why citizens groups like the Southern Environmental Law Center play an important role in the enforcement process.