By Lynn Thorp, National Campaign Director
Actually, it’s a complicated question. But one thing is certain. Coal plants and other facilities should not be contaminating our rivers, lakes, streams and drinking water sources with arsenic or any other toxic metals and chemicals. That is why it has been puzzling to see the reaction to the coal ash spill into the Dan River from a recent Duke Energy coal ash disposal site in Eden NC. This enormous spill has been chronicled by my colleague Jennifer Peters here and here and has made national news. Local water treatment plants have said that the spill does not pose problems for them because they are able to remove the contaminants in the ash. This is a good thing, though it demonstrates that once again our nation’s Public Water Systems have to clean up toxic waste that should have been prevented upstream. Read more.
By Jennifer Peters, National Water Campaigns Coordinator
The motto for the City of Danville, Virginia is “The river city, where innovation flows.” Since Sunday night, the River City has been where coal ash flows. As I posted Wednesday, Duke Energy has been scrambling to stop the flow of coal ash wastewater from one of its ash ponds since a stormwater pipe beneath the pond ruptured Sunday afternoon. The ash pond, located near Eden, North Carolina, is approximately 20 miles upriver from the city of Danville, VA, which gets its drinking water from the Dan River. Our friends Catawba Riverkeeper have created this timeline of events for the ongoing spill. It’s been over five days – and I am beginning to wonder, how many Duke Energy engineers does it take to fix one broken pipe? Sounds like the beginning of a bad joke.
Kingston in 2008. Lake Michigan in 2011. North Carolina in 2014. None of these toxic coal ash spills should have happened, but because of decades of lax regulations, they did. Take action today and tell the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that you are fed up with coal-burning power plants poisoning our water with lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium and other nasty chemicals - click here!