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Local Government
DENR Update On Dan River Coal Ash Spill Activities PDF Print E-mail
Local Government
By Administrator   
Friday, 28 February 2014 12:09


RALEIGH, (SGRToday.com) - On Thursday, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) issued the following update on the coal ash spill by Duke Energy in Eden.
The latest state water quality tests show that concentrations of iron and aluminum in the Dan River near the site of the Eden coal ash spill continue to decrease, but aluminum still exceeds surface water quality standards at all upstream and downstream sampling locations.
Iron concentrations are now within state surface water quality standards at three of the four sampling stations. Iron exceeds surface water quality standards at the Milton, N.C. site, which is the site farthest downstream from the spill, staff with the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources reported Thursday. DENR’s latest test results come from water quality samples the state agency collected through Feb. 10 upstream and downstream of the coal ash spill site.
Of the 28 metals DENR is testing for near the coal ash spill, iron and aluminum are the two metals at or above surface water quality standards. Some initial water quality samples taken downstream of the spill site indicated exceedences of state surface water standards for arsenic, iron, aluminum and copper. However, subsequent tests taken at the same sites have shown that neither arsenic nor copper exceed surface water standards.
Iron and aluminum have been high in historic water quality sampling conducted prior to the coal ash spill and are naturally occurring in soils in North Carolina. 
Duke Energy discovered the coal ash spill at its Dan River power plant Feb. 2. The N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources has been conducting tests to assess the spill’s effects on the river since staff members in DENR were notified of the spill Feb. 3.
In addition to testing water quality in the Dan River, DENR staff are collecting and testing sediments in the river and collecting and testing fish tissues to determine whether fish are safe to eat. Meanwhile, state public health officials have advised people not to eat fish from the Dan River and avoid prolonged contact with the water.
“These tests will help us better understand the extent of the damage to the Dan River caused by the coal ash spill,” said Tom Reeder, director of the N.C. Division of Water Resources. “Characterizing the spill’s impacts on water quality as well as fish and sediment will better inform cleanup efforts.”
On Wednesday, Duke Energy resumed removal of some of the 300 cubic yards of coal ash deposited in the shallow areas of the river near where the initial coal ash spilled into the Dan River. Efforts to remove portions of the coal ash deposit in deeper water have been halted and will resume when river conditions are safer. Assessments are ongoing to identify other areas in the Dan River where larger coal ash deposits can be removed. 
To see a map of all the locations where DENR is sampling water quality and sediment, and collecting fish for testing, visit http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/guest/dan-river-spill and click on the sampling sites map. 
DENR staff created the web page to provide the public with updates on the agency’s response to the Dan River coal ash spill. 
Last Updated on Friday, 28 February 2014 12:10
Safe To Eat? State Environmental Officials Sample Fish Near Dan River Coal Ash Spill Site PDF Print E-mail
Local Government
By Administrator   
Monday, 24 February 2014 17:11

RALEIGH, (SGRToday.com) - Scientists with the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) started Monday collecting fish in the Dan River in Eden near the site of the coal ash spill to begin fish tissue testing, which will help determine if fish are safe to eat. 

According to a news release, DENR staff members hope to compare the fish tissue samples collected throughout the week with samples the state agency will collect periodically during the next year to help scientists determine any impacts coal ash metals and other residuals could be having on fish in the river. 
Fish tissues collected this week will serve as baseline data to compare against fish tissue samples collected later in the year. Scientific research shows that it typically takes more than a few weeks for pollutants to accumulate in fish tissue. After these initial samples are taken, staff members plan to return in about one month, then six months and then a year from now to take additional fish tissue samples for comparison.       
“Sampling fish tissues is part of our ongoing effort to better understand the impacts of the coal ash spill on the health of the Dan River and all the organisms dependent on it,” said Tom Reeder, director of the N.C. Division of Water Resources in the news release. “The information will help us determine the extent of damage the spill has had on aquatic life and the river, and better inform cleanup efforts.”
Last Updated on Monday, 24 February 2014 17:12
DENR Posts Video From Second Leaking Stormwater Pipe In Eden PDF Print E-mail
Local Government
By Administrator   
Wednesday, 19 February 2014 11:20

RALEIGH, (SGRToday.com) - Those who wish to see video from inside a second leaking pipe on the Dan River can view the video on the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ (DENR) YouTube channel. The footage is from Duke Energy’s Dan River electric generating station near Eden.

The state agency also posted the video on its website at the web page devoted to the “Dan River Spill,” http://danriverspill.ncdenr.gov.  The video posted this week is of a 36-inch reinforced concrete pipe that carries storm water from a drainage area on the Duke Energy property to the Dan River by traversing beneath the failed coal ash pond. 
To access the video, go to http://alturl.com/yx5zq. 
According to DENR, the video prompted the Division of Energy, Mineral and Land Resources’ Dam Safety to send a letter to Duke Energy expressing concerns about the conduit and its “potential by configuration to release ash material in a way similar to the 48-inch conduit.”
 A 48-inch reinforced concrete and corrugated steel stormwater pipe beneath this same ash pond was discovered by a Duke Energy employee on Feb. 2 to have broken and released 30,000-to-39,000 tons of coal ash into the Dan River near Eden. 
Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 February 2014 11:20
New Hanover Correctional Center Inmate Dies In Apparent Suicide PDF Print E-mail
Local Government
By Administrator   
Monday, 17 February 2014 13:25

RALEIGH, (SGRToday.com) - An officer at the New Hanover Correctional Center discovered the body of inmate Joseph Hollar, #0187972, dead from an apparent suicide.

Hollar was found in the bathroom of his dormitory on February 12 at the minimum-security state prison for men.  The officer found Hollar unresponsive on the gloor.  Local EMS responded within minutes and determined the inmate was dead.  
Investigators from the New Hanover County Sheriff’s department are investigating.
Hollar, 48, was serving two years for driving while intoxicated and malicous conduct by a prisoner.  His convictions are from Alamance County and he was scheduled for release in December.
Just days earlier, inmate Guanghui Lei was found dead at Central Prison. He was found hanging in his cell and his death is presumed to be a suicide.
Last Updated on Monday, 17 February 2014 13:26

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