Coal ash spills came into the popular consciousness with the widely reported Dan River Disaster. However, this is far from the only spill of coal ash. Less than two months after Duke energy spilled 30,000 tons of coal ash which decimated 70 miles of the Dan River, there was a repeat. However, this time was different, this time it was clearly intentional.
Duke energy was photographed deliberately dumping wastewater from toxic coal ash into public waterways. The Waterkeeper Alliance released aerial surveillance photos that caught Duke Energy red handed. The images show workers pumping wastewater from two of Duke Energy’s toxic coal ash lagoons into a canal that drains into the Cape Fear River, a source of public drinking water.
The wanton arrogance of this action is underscored by the fact that the incident occurred just days before a federal grand jury convened in Raleigh to hear evidence in a criminal investigation of Duke Energy.
Duke Energy responded by describing the action as part of “routine maintenance.” Contrary to Duke Energy’s contention, they did not contact the appropriate regulatory authorities. Further, it is unlawful to discharge any pollutant into a waterway without a proper permit.
In light of these startling photos and Duke Energy’s response, Waterkeeper Alliance and Cape Fear Riverkeeper are demanding answers from Duke Energy and North Carolina DENR.
Another Water Contaminating Spill Courtesy of the Coal Industry
Duke Energy Spills Tons of Coal Ash into the Dan River
West Virginia Chemical Spill: Water Contamination from Coal and Regulatory Insufficiency
Bankruptcy Protection for the Company the Poisoned Drinking Water in Virginia
Video – Ongoing West Virginia Water Crisis