Duke Energy Corp., the largest U.S. utility owner, is in settlement talks with the U.S. government over a coal ash spill in North Carolina’s Dan River.
The company expects a proposed agreement could be reached in the next several days, according to a statement Wednesday. If approved, the proposed agreement would resolve an ongoing grand jury investigation of the company’s coal ash basin management.
About 39,000 tons of ash spilled from a pond at a shuttered coal-fired power plant near Eden, North Carolina, on Feb. 2, 2014. A federal grand jury is probing the state’s oversight of Duke’s coal ash ponds. State and company officials were subpoenaed as part of the investigation. Duke has submitted plans to North Carolina for closing its coal ash basins in the state.
Duke recorded a charge against fourth-quarter earnings of $100 million, or 14 cents a share, for the cost of the expected settlement.
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