In this Feb. 5, 2014 file photo, Didi Fung, a contractor for the Environmental Protection Agency, collects water samples from the Dan River as state and federal environmental officials continued their investigations of a spill of coal ash into the Dan River in Eden, N.C.
“EPA will work with Duke Energy to ensure that cleanup at the site, and affected areas, is comprehensive based on sound scientific and ecological principles, complies with all Federal and State environmental standards, and moves as quickly as possible,” said EPA Regional Administrator Heather McTeer Toney.
For weeks I have been talking about the need for a coal ash cleanup meeting here in our area and have discussed the idea with a number of people. After attending the Town Hall Eden Coal Ash Meeting on March 31st and seeing how meeting organizers wanted to embrace the Warren County environmental justice history, I realized a meeting in our parts has been long overdue.
I take the coal ash breach into the Roanoke River Basin, into the Dan River, into Kerr Lake very, very personally. Ken and I moved to Warren County largely because of Kerr Lake and the beauty of the surrounding rural area. Kerr Lake is beloved to me. Now, I realize that swimming in it without fear of pollutants is a privilege of the past, and I am devastated by this realization.
A fight between DENR and the Southern Environmental Law Center has been going on since last year, when the organization gave notice it intended to sue the company over its coal-ash ponds. That prompted the agency to file its own lawsuits in order to control the outcome of the litigation.
“We could deal with it in the river, but once that once that material… if it ever got flushed out into the lake, we would never be able to get it back.”