The Dan River coal ash clean up is done, for the time being.
The spill began Feb. 2 when an old stormwater pipe running under a 27-acre coal ash dump at a Duke’s Dan River Steam Station in Eden, NC, collapsed. It took the company nearly a week to fully plug the leak.
As part of the clean up, Duke Energy went down river to Danville, VA, to set up an area where they could start the clean up process.
“They’ve done what they could do and we’re satisfied with the EPA and what they are saying needed to be done,” said Bill Sgrinia, director of Danville’s Parks and Recreation.
Duke Energy moved into the city’s Abeu-Grogan Park on May 6 and said it dredged about 2,500 tons of coal ash from that area of the Dan River. Dredging from other parts of the river since the spill in February has netted about 3,000 tons of coal ash, Duke Energy said.
The company admits about 39,000 tons of coal ash spilled into the Dan River in February.
A spokesperson with the EPA said the agency signed off on the cleanup being “complete” at this time because levels of dangerous metals are now safe.
“This phase of operations may be wrapping up but there are still many months of monitoring to continue. Many months of surveying the river,” said Jeff Brooks with Duke Energy said. “What we see now is that water quality in the river has returned to normal conditions before the event. Drinking water has remained safe.”
The EPA says as quarterly testing and monitoring continues along the Dan River, any future action would depend on what new data reveals.