Appeals court denies stay of coal ash ruling

The North Carolina Court of Appeals has denied Duke Energy’s request to delay a lower-court ruling on coal ash contamination as it is appealed.

A Wake County Superior Court judge in March overturned a ruling by the state Environmental Management Commission by saying the state must take “immediate action” on groundwater polluted by ash.

The commission and Duke gave notice it would appeal. A hearing on the merits of their appeal has not been scheduled.

The court case is among state and federal litigation over Duke’s 33 North Carolina ash ponds. The issue took on greater urgency in February, when up to 39,000 tons of Duke’s ash spilled into the Dan River.