published Friday, February 21st, 2014

Duke Energy plugs 2nd leaking pipe at North Carolina coal ash dump

  • photo
    Workers at the Duke Energy Dan River Steam Station attempt to seal a drain pipe, which runs under a coal ash pond after the pipe was was found to be leaking and dumping coal ash and arsenic into the Dan River, in Eden, N.C., in this Feb. 19, 2014, file photo.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

RALEIGH, N.C. — State officials say Duke Energy has plugged a second pipe running under a huge coal ash dump that was leaking arsenic-laced groundwater into the Dan River, which is already polluted from a massive Feb. 2 spill.

The state Department of Environment and Natural Resources said Friday the contamination from the pipe at Duke's Eden plant was fully contained, four days after the company was ordered to plug it. Water coming from the pipe contains arsenic at levels 14 times more than considered safe for human contact.

A nearby pipe at the dump collapsed more than two weeks ago, coating the river bottom with toxic ash as far as 70 miles downstream.

The agency also said new testing shows the river water downstream of the dump still violates state standards for aluminum and iron.

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