Duke Energy pledged to take care of the Dan River and its surrounding environment as the company continues to address the coal ash release that began several days ago at the company’s Dan River power plant in Eden, N.C.
“We apologize and will use all available resources to take care of the river,” said Paul Newton, Duke Energy president — North Carolina. “We will do the right thing for the river and surrounding communities. We are accountable.”
Newton met with local government officials and residents in Eden, N.C., and Danville, Va., updating them on the ash release, water quality and options to clean up the river.
Ongoing water sampling results from Duke Energy demonstrate that water quality continues to improve downstream of the spill site. The company’s results are consistent with sampling being performed by the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (NCDENR).
The release stems from a broken 48-inch stormwater pipe under one of the power plant’s ash basins. The break, discovered last Sunday, allowed ash and water from the basin to flow into the river.
Installation of a catch basin, along with a series of pumps at the end of the stormwater pipe, has virtually eliminated any outflow to the river. Any release is being captured and pumped back into a safe area of the ash basin.
Duke Energy is designing a long-term river cleanup plan in close coordination with federal and state environmental agencies, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and NCDENR, Newton said.
Press Release, February 13, 2014