Deep-fried foods at Maryland State Fair, from bacon-wrapped Oreos to bugs

Phil Berger

Duke Energy, NC agency disputing fine for coal ash pollution

The nation's largest electric company is negotiating with North Carolina's environment agency over a $6.6 million fine to punish Duke Energy for a big spill of liquefied coal ash.

Attorneys for both sides said delaying Monday's scheduled hearing may help resolve the disputed fine for polluting the Dan River in 2014. Duke Energy Corp. has called the proposed fine disproportionate and arbitrary.

Spokeswomen for the company and the state Department of Environmental Quality declined comment on the scope of the negotiations.

Duke Energy also objected last year when the agency sought an unprecedented $25 million fine for persistent groundwater pollution at the closed Sutton...