DENR sampling fish from Dan River spill

02/24/2014 5:26 PM

08/05/2014 6:51 PM

The state’s environmental agency on Monday began collecting fish in the Dan River to determine if they are safe to eat following the Feb. 2 spill of up to 39,000 tons of coal ash.

The N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources says it typically takes more than a few weeks for pollutants to accumulate in fish tissue. The fish collected this week will be tested and compared to fish sampled in about a month, then six months and then a year for the presence of coal ash metals.

Specimens will be collected upstream from Duke Energy’s coal ash plant in Rockingham County, and at three locations downstream, including at the headwaters of Kerr Lake, about 65 miles north of Raleigh. The state has advised people not to eat fish from the river, and to avoid prolonged contact with the water.

Duke continued permanently plugging the two storm water pipes beneath the coal ash basin with grout over the weekend. The energy company says it has not yet been able to remove a 300-cubic yard deposit of ash in the river near the spill, because of rain and snow melt causing the river to run higher and faster.

Join the Discussion

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Terms of Service