Duke Energy has a federal judge's approval on two of its compliance plans. These plans describe how the company will meet the environmental laws.

The statewide and nationwide environmental compliance plans were approved by U.S. District Judge Malcolm Howard. They were required under Duke Energy's settlement of criminal charges last year following its 2014 spill of coal ash into the Dan River.

The state plan includes annual audits of Duke Energy's North Carolina power plants with coal ash pits and record-keeping of how much ash those pits contain.

Duke Energy pleaded guilty in May to nine criminal violations of the federal Clean Water Act for its illegal pollution. The company was sentenced to five years' probation and is being monitored for compliance with the federal law.


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