by: Trish Williford Updated:
MOUNTAIN ISLAND LAKE, N.C. - Dozens of people packed a meeting Monday night outraged that Duke Energy may try to force its customers to pay to clean up all the coal ash ponds across the state, including the four in our area.
They said Duke Energy has gotten away with poisoning their water supply for too long so they asked state leaders to step in and hold them accountable.
Residents of Mountain Island Lake said they're ready for a fight.
“We love Mountain Island Lake,” Sarah Behnke, a resident said. “It is frustrating when you're an individual and you live in this community and you live with it in your back yard. And you have a company that's so big and so powerful that they have been able to call the shots.”
For years they say Duke Energy has spilled the toxic coal ash into Charlotte's main water supply.
Now, residents could be forced to foot the bill to clean it all up.
Concerned residents who attended the meeting Monday in southwest Charlotte called on state leaders to step in and hold Duke Energy accountable.
“I really don't think that it's fair for average taxpayers and ratepayers to pay for a disaster or accident that was not of their doing,” said Rep. Rodney Moore.
Last week, a judge ruled the company must take immediate action to eliminate sources of groundwater contamination at coal ash sites.
Eyewitness News learned Duke Energy could be forced to pay billions of dollars to comply with environmental regulations over the next 10 years.
That money could ultimately come from the pockets of Duke Energy's customers.
Lawmakers told residents Monday night they plan to pass legislation to keep something like this from happening again.
Duke Energy is due in federal court on March 18 for a grand jury investigation in Raleigh.