May 13, 2014 Duke Energy officials said that where the coal ash has spread and clean sediment has settled on top that it will be too expensive to clean up, so they don’t intend to do it. This statement goes directly against Duke Energy’s promise to fully clean up the February disaster.
In attempting to clean up only a fraction of the 40,000 – 80,000 tons of coal ash that breached into the Dan River — a couple of “hot spots” or coal ash pileups — Duke Energy is condemning the Roanoke River Basin to becoming a toxic waste EPA Superfund site as the Hudson River has been.
In order to prevent this same condemnation, we need to make an articulate argument to legislators, Duke Energy, and the public for why we need an immediate comprehensive cleanup of the Dan River spill that has been spreading into Kerr Lake Reservoir.
Duke E. officials have said that they are fully responsible for the Dan River disaster and that they will pay for a cleanup with money from insurance and shareholders. We need to hold Duke Energy fully accountable for cleaning up the whole Dan River spill and the coal ash pits that are contaminating the Roanoke River Basin.
One of Duke’s arguments against a comprehensive cleanup is that the coal ash is already being mixed with sediment and that they would have to pick up clean sediment, so they will just leave the coal ash there, covered up, so to speak by sediment. They say it will cost too much to pick up clean sediment and that it’s better, anyway, to leave the coal ash where it is.
But that position is not the position of the EPA considering the dangers of leaving contaminated sediment. I’ve been looking up information on the Hudson River cleanup after years of General Electric attempting to avoid a cleanup. Even with years of sediment build-up, EPA says that the contamination still remains a threat; the pollutants don’t stay stationary; they move about but don’t go away and build up in the tissues of wildlife and bioaccumulate at higher and higher levels.