Duke: 2nd leaking pipe at coal ash dump no danger

In this Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014 photo, Amy Adams, North Carolina campaign coordinator with Appalachian Voices dips her hand into the Dan River in Danville, Va. as signs of coal ash appear in the river. Duke Energy estimates that up to 82,000 tons of ash has been released from a break in a 48-inch storm water pipe at the Dan River Power Plant in Eden N.C. Over the last year, environmental groups have tried three times to use the federal Clean Water Act to force Duke Energy to clear out leaky coal ash dumps. Each time, the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources has effectively halted the lawsuit by intervening at the last minute to assert its own authority to take enforcement action. In two cases, the state has proposed modest fines but no requirement that the nation’s largest electricity provider actually clean up the coal ash ponds. The third case is pending. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
In this Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014 photo, Amy Adams, North Carolina campaign coordinator with Appalachian Voices dips her hand into the Dan River in Danville, Va. as signs of coal ash appear in the river. Duke Energy estimates that up to 82,000 tons of ash has been released from a break in a 48-inch storm water pipe at the Dan River Power Plant in Eden N.C. Over the last year, environmental groups have tried three times to use the federal Clean Water Act to force Duke Energy to clear out leaky coal ash dumps. Each time, the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources has effectively halted the lawsuit by intervening at the last minute to assert its own authority to take enforcement action. In two cases, the state has proposed modest fines but no requirement that the nation’s largest electricity provider actually clean up the coal ash ponds. The third case is pending. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

EDEN, N.C. (AP) — Duke Energy says a second pipe under a coal ash dump in North Carolina is not in immediate danger of collapse, despite concerns from state regulators that the pipe could fail and trigger another toxic spill into the Dan River.

The state Department of Environment and Natural Resources said Friday that video taken inside the pipe shows potentially contaminated water leaking in through gaps and then out into the river.

Duke spokeswoman Paige Sheehan says the company’s assessment is that “no immediate action” is necessary. The state has given Duke 10 days to come up with a plan to fix the leaks.

The third largest coal ash spill in U.S. history was triggered Feb. 2 when a similar pipe at Duke’s dump collapsed.

 

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