Duke Energy Finally Charged in 35 Million Gallon Coal Ash Spill

Duke Energy Will Pay $100,000,000 Fine
Coal ash spillMillions of gallons of contaminated water spewed from the unlined 27 acre storage pond.


[Update Feb 21 2015 - Federal criminal charges were filed again Duke Energy alleging that the nation's largest electric utility illegally dumped coal ash the Dan River in North Carolina. No one knows how long the "pond" had been leaking when first discovered, but we do know it took a day for the company to notify authorities that toxic material was flowing into their drinking water. It took six days to plug the leak. At the time of the little 35 million gallon incident, Duke was already in court answering charges that it was illegally storing coal ash in shaking impoundments around the south.

The head of North Carolina's fake Department of Environment and Natural Resources with a background in fracking site remediation. It can never help when the (R) governor of your state is a former high level Duke Energy executive. The misdemeanor charges are a joke, but perhaps better than nothing.]

[ UPDATE FEB 14 - There is actually a reason why the Clean Water Act was passed, and that was to protect citizens from industrial interests that consider the natural world their own personal toilet. In spite of decades of warnings and a series of major spills, the coal industry continues to use their paid for trolls in Congress and lawyers to block any effort to clean up thousands of so called coal ash impoundments around the nation - especially in the South where the people consider submitting to corporate abuse a Patriotic duty.

So on one should have been surprised when a 27 acre coal ash impoundment spewed 80,000 or so tons of toxic waste into the Dan River a few weeks ago. Now, after the fact, the feds are issuing subpoenas in a criminal INVESTIGATION concerning efforts by the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources to suits intended to force cleanup of 30 coal ash impoundments. And now there's another big mess and more poison in the drinking water.]

About 35 million gallons of a toxic waste product known as coal ash were spilled into the Dan River in North Carolina. This time, the spill originated at a coal ash waste “impoundment” near a decommissioned coal burning power station owned by Duke Energy. The cause was a rupture in a 48-inch stormwater pipe underneath the unlined sludge storage pond. The company also reported that 27 million tons of polluted water reach the nearby Dan River.

The nasty grey sludge is the waste product left over from burning coal. It is highly contaminated with heavy metals and poisons such as lead, mercury, arsenic, selenium, and chromium. A water treatment plant downstream in Danville, VA has announced they are filtering out the toxins. Hope you feel better.

There are thousands of these impoundments all over the country but especially in the south. While the coal interests claim they are safe, there are breaches all the time. The February 2014 event is rated as the third worst in history. In 2008, a billion gallon spill wiped out a neighborhood in Tennessee not far from Knoxville. Just as is the case with this one, that incident was virtually uncovered by the corporate media.

The North Carolina spill follows the West Virginia incident near Charleston that contaminated the water for nine counties.


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