The Greensboro News & Record reports that the small town of Danville, Va., remains relatively unfazed by a coal ash spill in its water supply.
No panic in the streets. No mass exodus. And surprisingly, no outrage toward Duke Energy. At least not yet.
Save for the gray hue of the Dan, there wasn't anything out of the ordinary in this quiet city just across the North Carolina border.
The city gets its water from the Dan River, where, over the weekend, a corrugated metal pipe carrying coal ash broke. The pipe, near the Dan River Steam Station in Eden, N.C., spewed anywhere between 50,000 and 82,000 gallons of the toxic gray sludge from the now-retired Duke Energy coal-burning plant into the river. Duke Energy says hundreds of crew members are working around the clock to plug the break, and continuous water-quality tests downstream show no sign of contamination.
Danville City Council member Lee Vogler wrote on his Facebook page that the council is meeting with Duke Energy officials Friday.
For our part, Danville's city employees have been working around the clock to continually test our city's drinking water to make sure it is safe after it has been filtered through our water treatment plant. So far, it has passed every test. With that being said, this incident is inexcusable and Duke Energy must be held accountable.
As most of you know, I'm an "all of the above" guy when it comes to energy production but this spill is the result of poor maintenance and incompetence. Now one of our greatest resources, the Dan River, is paying the price. It was said yesterday that the ramifications from this spill could affect our fish population for YEARS. As someone who pushed for years to get the Dan River included in the Virginia Scenic Rivers program and finally saw it happen in late 2012, this sickens me.
We will get answers and we must fight to make sure something like this never happens again.