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Duke Energy reached a settlement late last week that holds the company accountable for violations related to the 2014 coal ash spill at the Dan River plant in Eden, NC.

The $6 million settlement ended up reached after the utility received a fine of $6.8 million in February in connection with the spill. The utility challenged that fine.

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Duke Energy received the fines because of violations of the Clean Water Act. Those violations ended up committed before and after the Feb. 2014 spill in Eden, state officials said.

In addition to the settlement with the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), Duke Energy still must excavate and close the Dan River coal ash ponds by Aug. 1, 2019, in cooperation with NC’s coal ash law.

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All of Duke Energy’s coal ash ponds must close by 2029.

DEQ said the settlement money will go to a statewide fund for public schools, which falls under a mandate in the North Carolina constitution.

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