State official: Ground water contamination exists at every coal - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

State official: Ground water contamination exists at every coal ash facility

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More ground water supplies around the state may be contaminated by coal ash.

Those are the findings of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Resources.

Director Tom Reeder told the state's environmental review commission further examination beyond the Dan River spill indicates that trouble may be found in other parts of the state.

"We've known that for a long time now. Yeah, there is some level of ground water contamination at every coal ash facility," he said.

When Duke got to share its side of the story, an apology was one of the first things out of the gate.

Paul Newton is the president of Duke Energy for North Carolina, and he told commission members that things have turned around on the Dan River following the coal ash spill.

"In addition to ongoing water sampling demonstrates that Dan River has returned to normal water quality conditions," he said.

Mecklenburg Representative Ruth Samuelson is concerned about who long it would take to move coal ash from the Gaston County's River Bend Steam Plant to a site near Charlotte Douglas International.

She told the panel, "We're talking about five to six years total process."

While Duke has been cited for its actions on the Dan River and the Cape Fear River, state officials say the utility company may face other notices of violation.

"Some other N-O-V's could possibly be coming in the future," Reeder said.

Duke says the it will pay for the cost of the spill on the Dan River, which is 15 million dollars at this point.

It remains unclear who will pick up the tab for other coal ash related clean-ups.

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