And it's heading to the Fayetteville area:
Aerial photographs of two Duke coal ash ponds at the head of the Cape Fear River show portable pumps and hoses that appear to be siphoning water into a canal leading to the river.
A spokesman for the state’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources said on Saturday that its inspectors noticed the pumping while on a site visit last week. “We are investigating the utility’s actions,” the spokesman, Drew Elliot, said in an email. “While routine maintenance is allowed under the permit, discharge of untreated wastewater could be a violation.”
What's the use in doing a site inspection if you're not going to stop them from polluting our water while you're there? By the time you get around to telling them to stop, they'll probably be finished anyway. And if the pumping was "noticed" last week, why are we just now reading about it, in the New York Times, no less? More from the Waterkeeper Alliance:
Peter Harrison, a staff attorney with the Waterkeeper Alliance, which took the aerial photos on Monday, said that if Duke were acting improperly, it was an audacious move at a time when company officials and state regulators have been subpoenaed to appear before a grand jury in Raleigh this week, which is investigating the Dan River spill.
But Duke’s spokesman, Jeff Brooks, said that the activists were wrong, that the discharge was permissible maintenance and that state regulators had been notified by the power company. “They’re lowering the water to conduct the maintenance they need to,” Mr. Brooks said. He could not say what type of maintenance was being performed or when state regulators had been notified.
His statement appeared to contradict the environmental agency. Its spokesman said that inspectors had come upon the pumping during a site visit.
Mr. Harrison of the Waterkeeper Alliance scoffed at Duke’s explanation. “To label the secret, unmitigated, intentional discharges of untold amounts of highly toxic wastewater as ‘routine maintenance’ is beyond ludicrous — and it is a federal crime,” he said.
I don't doubt that Duke Energy's contamination of our waters is "routine." That's the problem.