Catawba Riverkeeper

Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Our region’s source of life: the Catawba River. It’s been on the endangered rivers list three times but not in the past four years and we get an update on the river’s health.

Charlotte Water this weekend raised its estimate of how much raw sewage spilled from a broken pipe into a south Charlotte creek on Friday from 180,000 gallons to 200,000 gallons. The city says it took crews about 11 hours to stop the flow from a broken 21-inch pipe along Kings Branch, a tributary of Sugar Creek.

The Allen plant in Belmont was one of the places Duke Energy used calcium bromide to help remove mercury from coal.  Bromide later was found in Charlotte's Water supply.
David Boraks / WFAE

Duke Energy has withdrawn a request for state permission to use an additive at its coal-fired power plants that caused problems two years ago with Charlotte's drinking water. Environmental groups had sued, and celebrated the move. Duke said its decision was unrelated to the challenge.

The leaking pipe
Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation

Duke Energy says it has sealed a broken pipe found leaking from a coal ash dump at the Allen electric plant in Gaston County. The utility and an environmental group are disagreeing about the severity of the leak.

Smoke hangs on mountainsides and sits in valleys. The layer behind the mountains is from the Chimney Rock fire.
David Boraks / WFAE

Unhealthy air is now covering the region, as smokes creeps east from wildfires in western North Carolina. You can see it as you walk down the street. From above, it's even more dramatic, says . WFAE environmental reporter David Boraks. He flew over the fire zone Friday and has this report:

Amy Brown of Belmont lives near Duke's Allen Steam Station and has been receiving bottled water since 2015. She spoke at a rally in March.
David Boraks / WFAE

 

Hundreds of people crowded public hearings in Rowan and Gaston counties Tuesday night for a chance to tell regulators what they think of coal-ash ponds near their homes.  At Gaston College, more than 30 speakers raised concerns about the ash stored for the past 60 years next to Duke’s Allen Steam Station, in Belmont.