Friday, February 7, 2014

Spill on the Dan River

credit to Appalachian Voices
(2/7/14) The recent spill of coal ash from a retired Duke Energy plant on the border of North Carolina and Virginia serves as a reminder of the long term - if not permanent - harm to human and environmental health of of dirty energy. At every stage of its production/extraction, processing, transportation, distribution and disposal, coal (among other dirty, resource intensive forms) creates harm. 

To be clear - this is not an indictment on workers who are trying to meet their needs and those of their families through opportunities that the local economy offers.  Rather this is an indictment of an entire industry that relies on the permanent destruction and destabilization of the environment and the people/communities who live within and rely upon that environment. 

Below i will archive articles and information on this spill. 

Grassroots organization - Appalachian Voices is monitoring the spill. They report that as of 1:00pm Thursday February 6, Duke still had not "stopped the flow of heavy metals, polluted water and chemicals into the Dan River." Check back on the blog they set up for on the ground updates.

Articles and Media

Groups differ on Dan River water quality (2/10/14). Article highlights that water quality samples taken by Duke Energy and DENR were filtered samples and those taken by Appalachian Voices were unfiltered, giving a better picture of the spill's impact on the environment. Posted 2/12/14.

Groups pressure Duke Energy to clean up coal ash pumps (2/9/14).  Interesting article that describes environmental group's efforts over the past year to pressure Duke Energy to clean out leaky coal ash dumps, only to have such efforts railroaded by the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Whose interests are they protecting? Posted 2/10/14.

NC authorities say river has elevated arsenic from coal ash spill (2/9/14).  There are levels of arsenic that are 4 times higher than what is considered safe for swimming. Posted 2/10/14.

State regulators clarify reports on arsenic test results near coal ash spill (2/9/14). The North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources disseminated a press release in which it admits to an honest mistake when previously reporting low arsenic levels of the Dan River. Levels did indeed exceed state standards. Posted 2/10/14.

Sharp disagreement over effects of North Carolina spill (2/8/14). Though Duke Energy has downplayed the danger to people and the environment, environmentalists say that coal ash toxins far exceed safety standards. Posted 2/10/14.

Despite new coal-ash spill, EPA will stick to tough approach (2/8/14).  Though the EPA is likely to tighten disposal rules on coal ash, it will not go so far as to designate it hazardous. Posted 2/10/14.

Here is a video of the spill posted by Waterkeeper NYC on 2/4/14. Posted 2/7/14

Photos of the spill are available here. Posted 2/7/14.

Duke Energy pledges to take care of Dan River and surrounding environment (2/7/14).  Duke Energy released a press release in which it pledged to take care of the Dan River and its surrounding environment. We'll see about that. Posted 2/10/14.

Duke stops leaking ash-pond pipe (2/7/14).  Duke Energy finally stops the spill, 5 days after it began. Posted 2/10/14.

Safe drinking water could be only part of the Dan's story (2/7/14). Coal ash toxins sink into the sediment, which impacts much more than drinking water; the long term impacts are quite serious. Posted 2/10/14.

Dan River test results start to come in (2/6/14). The article summarizes tests that the polluter - Duke Energy  - made in the Dan River. Though the results suggest poison levels below federal standards, the tests were taken 2 miles away from the spill site. Fortunately the Waterkeeper Alliance took tests near the site.  Results indicate elevated levels of heavy metals. Posted 2/7/14.

Exclusive: Duke Energy ongoing coal ash spill into Dan River (2/5/14). This is a link to the 2nd article in a 3 part series by EcoWatch. In it, Donna Lisenby reports on the studies collaboratively carried out by the Waterkeeper Alliance, Yadkin Riverkeeper and Catawba Riverkeeper. Posted 2/7/14. 

No comments:

Post a Comment