Update On The Dan River Coal Ash Spill

The ash basin spilled at least 30,000 tons of coal ash into the Dan River, after a stormwater pipe broke on February 2nd.
Credit Duke Energy

The recent coal ash spill at the Dan River Power Plant dumped approximately 40,000 tons of coal ash and 27 million gallons of contaminated water into the Dan River. Coal ash is both unregulated and NOT classified as a hazardous material. But it contains things like arsenic, cadmium and chromium. The river is a source of drinking water and of tourism business. But Duke says the drinking water is safe, while Danville residents say they’ve seen dead turtles on the banks of the river. So what’s really going on? How will the Dan River recover? And what consequences will Duke face? We examine all of these issues and more around the coal ash spill.

Frank Holleman
- Senior Attorney at the Southern Environmental Law Center
Sam Perkins - Catawba Riverkeeper
Amy Adams - North Carolina campaign coordinator with Appalachian Voices