EPA, Va. officials to brief Southside on NC spill

In this Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014 photo, signs of coal ash swirl in the water in the Dan River in Danville, Va. Duke Energy estimates that up to 82,000 tons of coal 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, signs of coal ash swirl in the water in the Dan River in Danville, Va. Duke Energy estimates that up to 82,000 tons of coal 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)

SOUTH BOSTON, Va. (AP) — State and federal officials are due in South Boston to brief Southside residents on a massive coal ash spill into the Dan River.

Representatives of the Environmental Protection Agency and public health and water officials from the McAuliffe administration are to brief residents Thursday night on the Duke Energy spill Feb. 2 in North Carolina.

The contamination occurred when a pipe running under a coal ash pond collapsed, spewing into the Dan River up to 82,000 tons of coal ash mixed with 27 million gallons of contaminated water.

Federal prosecutors have served North Carolina’s environmental agency with subpoenas seeking documents and ordering state employees to testify before a grand jury.

It is part of a broadening criminal investigation triggered by a massive coal ash spill into the Dan River.

 

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