Article courtesy of Mitch Weiss | March 6, 2014 | Ashville’s Homepage Citizen-Times.com | Shared as educational material
Duke Energy must clean up contaminated groundwater
CHARLOTTE — A North Carolina judge says Duke Energy must take immediate action to eliminate the source of groundwater pollution at its coal ash dumps.
Wake County Judge Paul Ridgeway says state regulators failed to properly apply the law.
The ruling stems from legal action taken by the Southern Environmental Law Center in 2012.
The group asked the Environmental Management Commission to force Duke to take immediate corrective action when groundwater problems were discovered at the state’s 32 ash dumps.
But the commission ruled against the environmental group in December 2012 and they appealed the ruling.
The judge’s ruling comes a month after a massive coal ash spill from a Duke facility in Eden coated 70 miles of the Dan River in toxic gray sludge.
Meanwhile, A Virginia hazardous materials unit has found coal ash in the Dan River in Virginia from the massive spill last month.
The unit of the Danville Fire Department responded to a call of an unusual substance in the water Wednesday afternoon. Tests determined the substance to be coal ash.
Officials say they believe the coal ash was stirred up from the bottom of the river due to the higher water flow from the recent rain and snow.
There have been no visible signs of coal ash entering the area water treatment plant. Tests show water leaving the plant is clean and safe to drink.
A massive spill from a Duke Energy facility in North Carolina on Feb. 2 coated 70 miles of the Dan River in toxic gray sludge.