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Monday, 10 February 2014 21:07

INSTITUTE INDEX - Duke Energy coal ash spill latest in ongoing regulatory disaster

Written by  Sue Sturgis | Facing South

Date on which a break in a stormwater pipe beneath a coal ash disposal pit at a shuttered Duke Energy power plant near Eden, N.C. contaminated the Dan River with toxic coal ash: 2/2/2014

Estimated tons of coal ash -- which contains toxins including arsenic, lead, mercury,  and radioactive elements -- that were released to the river: 50,000 to 82,000

Number of Olympic-size swimming pools that amount of coal ash would fill: 20 to 32

Estimated gallons of coal ash-contaminated water from the storage pit that also reached the river: 24 million to 27 million

Number of rail cars the toxic pollution could fill: 413 to 677

Rank of the spill among the largest coal ash spills in U.S. history: 3

Hours that Duke Energy waited from the time it discovered the spill to report it to the public: 26

Miles downstream of the spill site that Danville, Va. draws its drinking water: 6

Age in years of Duke Energy's Dan River ash pits: 53

Year in which Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) inspections found problems with leakage at the plant's coal ash dam as well as dilapidated and poorly maintained stormwater pipes: 2009

Number of coal-fired power plants that Duke Energy owns across North Carolina: 14

Percent of those plants where there have been unpermitted discharges of coal ash to the environment: 100

Amount that is being spent to run a municipal water line to the North Carolina community of Flemington because a leaky Duke Energy coal ash pit contaminated the local groundwater supply: $2.25 million

Amount of that total cost being borne by the local community: $472,000

Number of times more likely someone living near a coal ash pit is to develop cancer than someone who smokes a pack of cigarettes a day: 9

Year in which the EPA administrator pledged to enact the first-ever federal regulations of coal ash disposal: 2009

Year in which public health and environmental advocacy groups sued the EPA over its failure to enact the promised regulations amid pressure from Duke Energy and other coal-burning power companies: 2012

Amount Duke Energy spent on federal lobbying last year alone, including on efforts to block strict coal ash regulations: $5.99 million

Date on which the Department of Justice lodged a consent decree requiring EPA to release a final coal ash rule: 1/29/2014

Date by which the EPA must publish the final rule on coal ash disposal: 12/19/2014

Link to original article from Facing South

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