Duke Energy has 32 coal ash ponds on 14 sites around the state. Several environmental groups, including the Yadkin Riverkeeper, the Dan River Basin and the Waterkeeper Alliance are concerned about the impact on drinking water because most of these coal ash disposal sites are unlined.
After weeks of downplaying a massive coal ash spill that made its way into the Dan River near Eden, North Carolina regulators issued violation notices Monday to five more Duke Energy power plants. The violations are in addition to two citations late last week.
At Draper Landing in Eden, Harold Byrd (left) and Donald Perdue of Rockingham County say they have fished the Dan and hunted its banks for years, eating what they caught and killed. Those days are over, they say.
It’s been three weeks since Duke Energy announced that a major pipe leak was causing thousands of gallons of toxic coal ash to empty into the Dan River. The incident in Rockingham County is estimated to be the third-largest coal ash spill in the nation's history.
Environmental regulators say they are still waiting on tests to determine whether the poisonous sludge had seeped into water supplies in North Carolina and Virginia, but several environmental groups have been conducting some of their own testing.