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Cuomo Announces Duke Energy Settlement

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New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has announced a pollution-reduction settlement with the nation's third largest power producer.

It requires Duke Energy to shut down two units at a coal-fired power plant in Indiana -- or convert them to burning natural gas -- and cut sulphur dioxide emissions from two other units in half. The changes are expected to cost Duke more than $80 million.

Sulphur dioxide is linked to acid rain, and blamed for damaging lakes and wild areas in New York's Catskill and Adirondack regions.

The settlement also requires Duke to pay nearly 2 million dollars in civil penalties, about $400,000 dollars of which will go to a state clean-air and energy conservation fund.

Duke will also invest over 5 million dollars towards its own clean energy projects.

New York led a coalition that included New Jersey, Connecticut, the U.S. Justice Department, and two environmental groups in suing Duke in 2001. They charged the company with violating the Clean Air Act by improperly modifying a number of Midwestern power plants.