EPA to test Dan River for reported ash leak

02/14/2014 9:05 PM

02/14/2014 9:05 PM

The Environmental Protection Agency will test water and sediment Saturday after an environmental group reported that coal ash is still leaking into the Dan River after a Feb. 2 spill.

The Waterkeeper Alliance and Yadkin Riverkeeper reported that water containing metals including arsenic and chromium, elements found in ash, was draining into the river one-third of a mile above the spill site.

Federal officials say the water is coming from a stormwater pipe that is not connected to the 27-acre pond that dumped ash into the river.

Kevin Eichinger, one of the EPA’s on-scene coordinators, said Friday the agency will take samples Saturday to verify that conclusion.

Duke Energy, which owns the site, also said the source is a storm drain from a different part of the retired Dan River plant. Duke will also retest the water, spokesman Jeff Brooks said.

Work at the spill site, at Duke’s Dan River retired power plant in Eden, has been on hold since a winter storm dumped snow on the region.

Duke reported this week that it has plugged the 48-inch stormwater pipe that broke beneath the ash pond.

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