It is day 36 of my 365 Days of Living deliberately blog, and I am copying more about the latest coal ash disaster in the Dan River. First, the following is an email that I received from Kareb Maute who coordinates online information for the opposition to uranium mining in Virginia.
The second piece I am sharing is the link to an article titled “It’s like a lava flow moving slowly toward Danville” by John R. Crane who writes for the Danville Register and Bee and for The Go Dan River Online News.
I. Karen Maute’s email:
Regulations do not stop disasters. How many of you have considered this coal ash spill is a reminder of why we’ve fought so hard to keep uranium mining and milling out of Southside?
KEEP THE BAN!
Confusion abounds…it appears that both NC and VA agencies are involved in this spill and EPA as well. Who will emerge as the lead agency?http://www.danville-va.gov/DocumentCenter/Home/View/7931 Does Danville test for gross alpha and radium are tested every 6 years? Was the last one was April 2008.
Burning coal in boilers to create steam for power generation and industrial applications produces a number of combustion residuals.
Naturally radioactive materials that were in the coal mostly end up in fly ash, bottom ash and boiler slag. These residuals are called TENORM–Technologically Enhanced Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials–because burning removes the coal’s organic constituents, concentrating the trace amounts of naturally occurring radionuclides:uranium, thorium, potassium, their radioactive decay products including radium. (The amount radium in coal can vary by more than two orders of magnitude
depending upon the type of coal and where it was mined.)
DENR states samples will be checked for heavy metals, sulfates, nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus), and total suspended solids. Does that include those radioactive constituents referred to as TENORM?
When DENR states, “initial results do NOT mean the water is safe”, what do they mean? Safe for what? Why is Danville still drinking municipal water and VB not pumping water from Lake Gaston to its customers?
Dan River Coal Ash Spill
The Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources is working with Duke Energy to monitor and contain a spill of coal ash that began Feb. 2 from a stormwater pipe into the Dan River in Eden.
Initial water quality testing performed by DENR staff on site at Duke Energy’s Dan River power plant on Tuesday showed no deviation from normal levels of temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen and conductivity due to the release of water and ash from the facility’s coal ash impoundment.
These initial results do NOT mean the water is safe. DENR staff are continuing to sample and test the water. On Tuesday, the first round of water samples were delivered to a lab in Raleigh for further testing for heavy metals, sulfates, nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus), and total suspended solids.
Here are the specific metals DENR is testing for:
I will post the test results here as soon as they are available.
2. Here is a link to the second piece I am sharing, an article titled “It’s like a lava flow slowly moving toward Danville “ by John R. Crane who writes for the Danville Register and Bee and for The Go Dan River Online News.
The above photo is an AP photo taken of coal ash sludge on the shore of the Dan River and is published in the Go Dan River Online News.