A conservation group fighting to clean the drinking water for hundreds of thousands of people in the area filed a motion to intervene in a settlement between the state and Duke Energy.
It stems from two lawsuits North Carolina filed against Duke Energy claiming it found new problems that threatened Charlotte's main water source.
A motion was filed on behalf of the Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation. It highlights their claims that coal ash ponds at Duke Energy are seeping dangerous chemicals into the drinking water reservoirs.
State officials said if high chemical levels at several nearby plants are not fixed, people could be in serious danger.
Thursday's motion also calls for an independent citizen's group to be included in the process. The foundation's attorney wrote, "The Catawba River and the region's drinking water will be protected only if an independent citizen's group is at the table to make sure that the state and Duke Energy take real action to clean up Duke Energy's illegal coal ash pollution."
Duke Energy has said the information from the Catawba Riverkeeper is not accurate. The company said there's no overall impact to the water quality of the lakes. It will now be up to the courts to decide.