Duke Energy pumping coal ash water directly into public waterway

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.

Comments

If it is flowing into the

If it is flowing into the Cape Fear it isn't flowing toward the state capital. It is flowing to Sanford, Lillington, Erwin, Fayetteville, Elizabethtown, and Wilmington.

I'm a moderate Democrat.

Yeah, I wondered about that

I used to fish the Cape Fear back when I was stationed at Ft. Bragg. Which is pretty far South of Raleigh, as the water flows. But it doesn't really become the "Cape Fear River" until the water leaves the Jordan Lake Reservoir. Before that, it's the Haw and the Deep Rivers. Trying to find the actual location of the release now.

You're right

Don't know if this link will work, but it looks like they're pumping it into the Deep River below Jordan Lake, right before it becomes the Cape Fear.

DENR inspectors

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, but they were having coffee and pastries with Duke executives and it was kind of chilly outside, so they didn't investigate further. “We are thinking about discussing the consideration of possibly 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. But Duke Energy doesn't ever have any violations, so I'm sure they'll say it's routine maintenance. And that's good enough for us. Say, could I get some more coffee here please?”

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"What I see from the folks who are opposing our agenda is whining coming from losers." -- Thom Tillis

So, Duke's idea of cleanup

is to filter all that toxic water through the kidneys of North Carolinians. Very efficient.

Progressives are the true conservatives.

It's been over 2 weeks...

....since the 1100 gallon per day "trickle" from the Duke Energy Cliffside Coal Plant runoff pond into Broad River was discovered.

Water samples were taken, but the results have yet to made public.

People in Rutherford and Cleveland Counties are still concerned.

Disturbing

DENR won't tell us what the test results were. And no one else is allowed to find out.

According to a story in today's Raleigh News & Observer:

On Thursday, members of the [Waterkeepers Alliance] organization took a small motor boat up the Cape Fear River and a tributary trying to find where the pumps were discharging and to test the water.

The group was turned back by Duke employees and a Chatham County sheriff’s deputy.

Why?

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"What I see from the folks who are opposing our agenda is whining coming from losers." -- Thom Tillis