DENR releases hundreds of documents related to coal ash

The North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources released more than 13,000 pages of public records after the massive coal ash spill on Feb. 2 on the Dan River.

The release of the more than 900 public files came on March 28, 2014, at the request of multiple organizations.

Among the documents was a Sept. 27, 2013, email from Denisse D. Diaz, chief of the EPA’s Clean Water Enforcement Branch, in which the federal agency questions a proposed settlement over groundwater contamination at dumps near Charlotte and Asheville.

The consent order would have required the multi-billion dollar company to pay $99,000 in fines with no requirement to clean up the pollution.

WNCN Investigates also found that Duke Energy, back in 2011, asked DENR how they can keep certain documents of the public eye. Duke Energy requested that its Emergency Action Plans and inundation maps be exempt from public records laws.

A DENR employee wrote, “This information could be used by terrorists to determine where they might do the most damage.”

You can browse and search those documents below. If you find anything that you believe deserves to be looked in to further, you can contact the WNCN Investigates team at

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