Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Spill At Dan River In North Carolina Included Cancerous Toxins Such As Arsenic In Drinking And Fishing Water (Video)

Profits Ahead Of People

CBS News program “60 Minutes” aired a segment on Duke Energy and the company’s poor coal ash removal practices currently contaminating drinking and fishing waters in select U.S. states. The most damage has been done in north Carolina, where toxic items such as arsenic have been discovered in drinking and fishing water adjacent to Duke’s plants and their coal ash ponds. The ponds were never lined which has resulted in the coal ash contaminating soil and nearby drinking water.

Lynn Wood of Duke Energy being interviewed by Lesley Stahl of investigative news show "60 Minutes"

It is important that drinking and fishing water be kept to the highest standards of purity, as contamination with coal ash and by products such as arsenic, is cancerous. This is a prime example of corporation putting profits ahead of people. Initial government fines Duke Energy was assessed were paltry, totaling approximately $100,000. The most recent fines are approximately $100,000,000. However, it is not enough money to clean up the environmental damage that has been done.


The Spill at Dan River 

2015 Jun 14 - Lesley Stahl reports on how Duke Energy is handling over 100 million tons of coal ash waste in North Carolina. The following is a script from "The Spill at Dan River" which aired on Dec. 7, 2014, and was rebroadcast on June 14, 2015. Lesley Stahl is the correspondent. Shachar Bar-On, producer.

Every year coal-burning power plants generate not only electricity but a staggering amount of leftover coal ash that contains heavy metals unhealthy to humans. Yet due in part to intense industry lobbying, oversight over disposal has been largely left in the hands of state officials and employees, who are often beholden to the powerful, local utility companies.

For decades coal ash was just dumped into giant pits dug by rivers and lakes, where toxins could leach into nearby water and soil. There are over 1,000 ash pits or ponds dotting the nation, many of them old, poorly monitored, all but forgotten. But as we first reported back in December, every few years we are reminded that this can lead to disaster like the coal-ash spill in February last year into North Carolina's Dan River at a power plant owned by Duke Energy, the biggest utility company in the country.

The spill at Dan River happened when a drainage pipe that ran underneath an ash basin and dam, collapsed, sucking out six decades of waste and spewing gunk directly into the river. Lynn Good: It was an accident. It didn't work the way it should have worked. It didn't meet our standards or our expectations. Duke Energy CEO Lynn Good, then only seven months on the job, had a crisis on her hands...