March 19, 2014
The investigation of utility in waste efficacy is a continuous issue to be managed. The news of “Duke Energy accused of pumping wastewater into a canal leading to Cape Fear River” is under review with no comment from Duke.
“State regulators are investigating allegations that Duke Energy pumped toxic wastewater from coal ash basins last week into a canal that discharges in the Cape Fear River. Regulators, who discovered the activity during an inspection on March 11, are investigating to determine if Duke’s actions were allowed or a violation of the wastewaterdischarge permit. They plan to conduct detailed inspections of all Duke’s coal ash facilities in the state next week, according to a spokesman.
The Cape Fear River is the source of drinking water for Fayetteville and Cumberland County, Fort Bragg, Harnett County and other downstream communities. There was no indication Monday that the river water is unsafe. A spokeswoman for the Fayetteville Public Works Commission said while she was unaware of any problems, the utility monitors water quality regularly.
Spokesman for the company told The New York Times that the pumping was intended to lower water levels in the ponds, which contain a slurry of coal ash with toxic heavy metals, as part of a “routine maintenance” program. The utility said it was allowed to do so under the site’s antipollution permit.
Peter Harrison, staff attorney for the Raleigh office of Waterkeeper Alliance said, “Heavy metals commonly found in wastewater from coal ash ponds are aluminum, arsenic, boron cadmium, cobalt, copper, chromium, lead, iron, manganese, selenium, thallium and zinc.
These issue on water health continue to be reviewed as energy and utility grow. The issue on what are safe business practices may become a war of wills and capital as legislation is rolled out to determine waste management solutions to countermand irreparable harm.