Public records request filed over Duke Energy coal ash ponds

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Catawba Riverkeeper and Greenpeace filed a public records request Friday surrounding Duke Energy coal ash plants.

"Hopefully that will shed some light on what happened," riverkeeper Sam Perkins said.

Residents who claim their well water is contaminated by coal ash, along with the Riverkeeper and other activists, showed up at the Government Center around 10:30 a.m. to file a public records request for documents from the governor's office.

Residents and Greenpeace want to know how much Governor Pat McCrory was involved in the initial warning from the state to neighbors about cancer-causing chemicals in their water.

"We need to know his involvement in this case whether he was trying to cover up or manipulate the language in these letters." Michael Zytkow with Greenpeace said.

Environmentalists said those chemicals come from Duke's coal ash.

That warning was later rescinded in March, but residents are still suing Duke Energy to have ash ponds cleaned up.

The cleanup is something Duke is doing, but residents told Channel 9 it's not being done right, and they’re also tired of living off of bottled waters.

Channel 9 reached out to Duke and a company spokesperson said, “We remain focused on doing the right thing for plant neighbors, delivering bottled water and working on a plan to provide a permanent water supply to them.”

McCrory's campaign spokesman, Ricky Diaz, released the following statement Friday:

"Even Governor Jim Hunt's administration had to apologize for the bureaucrat Ken Rudo in the past, and he has a history of lying and going after scientists with whom he personally disagreed. The fact is that while Roy Cooper and previous administrations ignored the coal ash problem for decades, fought cleanup efforts and even supported policies which made it harder to prevent coal ash spills, Governor McCrory is addressing the problem once and for all. And thanks to the McCrory administration's efforts, residents near coal ash sites will be connected to municipal water supplies at Duke Energy's expense."

Perkins hopes to hear from the governor's office within two weeks.

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