COAL ASH PITS: DUKE ENERGY TELLS NEIGHBORS TO WAIVE CLAIMS (WRAL-TV) — Neighbors living near Duke Energy Corp’s coal ash pits in North Carolina are being told they have to give up the option of suing over any future water problems if they want extra compensation from the utility. The country’s largest electric company sent out letters last week to about 1,000 homeowners living near 13 of the company’s coal-burning power plants spread across North Carolina. In them, the utility said it will require the waiver to release the company from “any claims for further compensation or recovery from Duke Energy” related to alleged groundwater pollution or unsatisfactory municipal water connections. Duke Energy said its coal-ash pits are not to blame for any contaminants detected in groundwater. The company is offering a $5,000 “goodwill” payment to neighbors “to support your transition to a new water supply,” the letters said.