Trying to choose its legal opponents:
Duke says the Yadkin Riverkeeper Foundation and the Waterkeeper Alliance are barred from bringing the private suit, filed in September. It argues that the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources has filed suit over coal-ash issues at Buck, located in Rowan County, and taken other enforcement actions. It cites federal law that bars private suits involving the federal Clean Water Act when state agencies have acted.
John Suttles, a lawyer with the Southern Environmental Law Center, says Duke has made similar arguments unsuccessfully in other environmental cases. He says the suit is properly filed and that it addresses violations of the Clean Water Act not addressed by the state suit.
Hopefully the judge will let the suit proceed, because it's important to get the Riverkeepers' testimony on record. DENR is not likely to go into any details on potential environmental damage resulting from the leaks, as they have an unfortunate habit of waiting until there's a crisis before acting.