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Duke has fixed crack on Cape Fear coal ash dam

  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/03/22/06/17/71-LnfWv.Em.156.jpeg|200
    Rick Dove - Waterkeeper Alliance
    An aerial photo taken by Riverkeeper Rick Dove on March 10, 2014 over the coal ash impoundments at the Duke Energy Cape Fear Plant showing personnel using a portable pump.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/03/17/19/03/688-1n8fR4.Em.156.jpeg|173
    Rick Dove - Waterkeeper Alliance
    An aerial photo taken by Riverkeeper Rick Dove on March 10 shows coal ash impoundments at the Duke Energy Cape Fear Plant. The Cape Fear River is in the upper right of the photo.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/03/17/19/03/702-dfT7Z.Em.156.jpeg|473
    Rick Dove - Waterkeeper Alliance
    An aerial photo taken by Riverkeeper Rick Dove on March 10 over the coal ash impoundments at the Duke Energy Cape Fear Plant show personnel using a portable pump.

RALEIGH Duke Energy has repaired the crack that developed in an earthen dam at its Cape Fear Steam Station plant in Chatham County, state regulators reported Tuesday.

The crack had developed at one of the utility’s coal ash ponds where Duke had been lowering the water level to do maintenance work. The state Department of Environment and Natural Resources last week cited the company for pumping 61 million gallons of wastewater from the ponds into the Cape Fear River over several months, which was unauthorized.

The crack, discovered on March 20, was 4 or 5 inches wide and 35 inches long. No water leaked from the ash pond and the dam didn’t appear to be in imminent danger of failing.

DENR on Tuesday also reported that water quality samples taken downstream of the Dan River plant near Eden show arsenic – a key ingredient of coal ash — and other metals continue to decrease and are within state surface water quality standards. Aluminum and iron exceed standards, but both are naturally occurring elements and might not be related to the coal ash spill last month.

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