Protesters target Duke Energy Center in Charlotte - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Protesters target Duke Energy Center in Charlotte

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

A crowd of more than 100 protesters gathered Tuesday afternoon, holding signs and chanting in front of the Duke Energy Center.

"We will stand, we will fight, water is a human right," the protesters chanted.

Protest organizers tell WBTV they are calling on Duke Energy to take full financial responsibility for the recent coal ash spill on the Dan River.

Wake Forest University researchers now estimate that about 35 million gallons of coal ash and contaminated wastewater spilled into the Dan River earlier this month.

During Tuesday's demonstration, protesters planned on delivering a petition to Duke Energy that contained 9,000 signatures.  Duke Energy did not accept the petition.

"They told us they would accept the petitions, but they suddenly refuse to let three of us come in the door and put them on the front desk," a protester told WBTV.

Duke Energy did release the following statement today:

"The drinking water has remained safe. The pipe has been permanently plugged. We take responsibility for this event and also are taking another look at the management of our ash basins."

A Duke Energy spokesman declined an on camera interview, saying the company has already cooperated fully in this matter.

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