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Up to 27 Million Gallons of Coal Ash Spill into Dan River, NC

Posted by feww on February 7, 2014



82,000 tons of ash spill into NC river after a pipe break at a Duke Energy retired coal plant

The spill was detected on Sunday at Dan River Steam Station, a Duke Energy retired power plant in Eden, NC. A broken stormwater pipe located under a 27-acre ash pond released about 27 million gallons of ash basin water, said a company spokesperson.

Other than for obvious reasons, there were no immediate comments from Duke energy as to why the ash pond was built over a stormwater pipe and so close to Dan River, nor any reason why the largest electricity provider in the U.S. failed to remove the toxic ash nearly two years after the plant was retired.

dan river steam station - Ash Basin Diagram
Source: Duke Energy

There’s no immediate threat to drinking water in nearby Virginia towns; however, officials are concerned about  long-term impact of the spill on the Dan River.

“The Dan River does not have a clean bill of health,” said the director of the North Carolina Division of Water Resources.

Lab tests of water samples collected from an affected part of the river showed “extremely high levels of arsenic, chromium, iron, lead and other toxic metals typically found in coal ash,” said Waterkeeper Alliance, a group of water advocates.

“Duke could have avoided contaminating the Dan River and poisoning Virginia’s water supplies if it had removed its toxic ash heaps years ago after being warned by EPA,” said the president of Waterkeeper Alliance.

Aerial view of retired Dan River Steam Station and ash basins
Aerial view of the retired Dan River Steam Station and ash basins in North Carolina. Source: Duke Energy [This photo taken on February 5, 2014 shows the primary basin almost completely drained into Dan River.]

One of our readers who first read the report commented:

“Coal ash basin water” probably safer than fracking fluid!!!

Full report posted at … coal ash spill in North Carolina

On January 12, 2014 FIRE-EARTH said [but was censored by Google, WordPress and others]

If Anything Can Explode, Leak, Contaminate…

Estimated 100,000 HAZMAT storage sites across the U.S. can potentially explode, leak, contaminate the environment—FIRE-EARTH

United States is dotted with an estimated 100,000 HAZMAT storage sites containing one or more of deadly substances including radioactive, biohazardous, toxic, explosive, flammable, asphyxiating, corrosive, oxidizing, pathogenic, or allergenic materials, as well as herbicides, fungicides and fertilizers that don’t fall into those categories.

Some of the substances (hazchems), which include more than 200 types of dioxins, are so lethal that even a small leak into the water supply could kill or permanently harm millions of people, before they are detected.

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