Environment
9:07 am
Wed February 19, 2014

DENR To Duke Energy: Stop Using Other Stormwater Pipe

The Dan River flows through Danville, VA (cropped)
The Dan River was affected by the coal ash spill. It flows through Danville, VA
Credit Jeff Tiberii

State officials with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) have told Duke Energy to stop using a stormwater pipe running under a coal ash pond in Eden. (This is a different pipe than the one that ruptured 17 days ago, causing the third largest coal ash spill in U.S. history.) Following that spill at a retire coal fired power plant north of Greensboro, many environmentalists and media members questioned the durability of this second, smaller pipe. Duke has said repeatedly this pipe is structurally sound and water running through it, is clean. DENR tested some water and determined that not to be the case.

“We have arsenic levels at 140 parts per billion. The water quality standard for arsenic is ten parts per billion,” said Susan Massingale, a public information officer.

Massingale says results from additional water sampling results should be available by the end of the week. As of late Tuesday night Duke did not respond to calls seeking comment. Environmentalists have called on the governor, a former Duke employee of 29 years, to lead significant coal ash clean-up at the 31 ponds around the state.