Danville, VA, United States
Danville, VA, United States

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News Article | March 10, 2016
Site: www.sej.org

"Duke Energy has appealed the state’s $6.8 million fine involving the Dan River coal ash spill, calling the action “entirely arbitrary and capricious” and requesting “dismissal of the ... civil penalty in its entirety.” “Clearly, our company is accountable for the Dan River incident, and we recognize the state’s right to issue an appropriate penalty in a situation like this,” Duke says in a prepared statement. “This appeal requests that Duke Energy be treated in a manner that is fair and consistent with the law and other North Carolina companies.” The Department of Environmental Quality, which imposed the fine, defends its action. “The state is holding Duke Energy accountable so that it and others understand there are consequences to breaking the law," says DEQ Secretary Donald van der Vaart. "We are moving forward with enforcement actions against Duke Energy for not complying with environmental laws that protect North Carolina’s environment from catastrophes like the Dan River spill.”"

News Article | March 7, 2016
Site: www.sej.org

"Raleigh, N.C. — The state Department of Environmental Quality on Friday issued violations against Duke Energy for allowing wastewater to leak from coal ash basins at 12 facilities. The violations were issued for unauthorized discharges of wastewater at the following Duke plants: Allen Steam Station, Asheville Steam Station, Belews Creek Steam Station, Buck Steam Station, Cape Fear Steam Electric Generating Plant, Cliffside Steam Station, Dan River Combined Cycle Plant, Lee Steam Electric Plant, Marshall Steam Station, Mayo Steam Electric Power Plant, Roxboro Steam Electric Plant and Weatherspoon Steam Electric Plant. The violations, which may result in fines, require Duke to fix the problems and provide more data to the DEQ. The company has 30 days to respond."

Zoellner J.,Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University | Motley M.,Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University | Wilkinson M.E.,Danville Regional Foundation | Jackman B.,Dan River | And 2 more authors.
Family and Community Health | Year: 2012

Despite ongoing recommendations to engage health-disparate populations in the initiation and execution of community-based research, few studies report on the process of community engagement. The action-oriented Comprehensive Participatory Planning and Evaluation (CPPE) process is designed to guide community health planning and evaluation. This article describes how the CPPE process was utilized within a community-based participatory research initiative aimed at addressing obesity in the health-disparate Dan River Region. Encouraging community engagement in formulating research agendas and promoting ownership of health solutions will be key to improving obesity risk factors among Dan River Region residents and similar vulnerable communities. © 2012 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Zeng S.-L.,Dan River | Zhang T.-T.,Dan River | Gao Y.,Dan River | Li B.,Dan River | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Plant Ecology | Year: 2012

Aims: Road effects from maintenance and traffic have the potential to alter plant communities, but the exact relationships between these effects and changes in plant community composition have not often been studied in diverse environments. To determine the direction and level of community composition changes in saline environment due to road effects, we conducted a study along roads of different ages and in nearby non-road (i.e. natural) areas in the Yellow River Delta, China. Additionally, to potentially elucidate the mechanisms underlying the changes in the richness and composition of plant communities along roads, we evaluated physiochemical changes in soil of roadside and non-road areas.Methods: Floristic and environmental data were collected along roadside of different ages and nearby non-road areas. To evaluate plant communities at each site, six 2 m × 2 m quadrats were placed at 3-m intervals along roads and six quadrats were arranged randomly in non-road areas. To determine the difference in plant community composition between roadside and non-road areas, we measured species richness and the abundance of each species, examined species turnover and floristic dissimilarity between the two areas and positioned plant species and sites in an abstract multivariate space. Plant community (species richness, percentage of halophytes) and soil physicochemical properties (pH, salinity, moisture content, bulk density, nitrate and ammonium nitrogen concentration) were compared between roadside and non-road areas (young roadside vs. corresponding non-road areas, old roadside vs. corresponding non-road areas) by using t-tests. Classification and ordination techniques were used to examine the relationship between vegetation and related environmental variables in both roadside and non-road areas. Important Findings:For both the young and old roadside areas, species richness in roadside areas was significantly higher than in non-road areas and high floristic dissimilarity values indicated that roadside and non-road areas differed greatly in community composition. In both the young and old roadside areas, the plant communities in roadside areas had lower percentages of halophytes than non-road communities. Correspondence analysis and two-way indicator species analysis showed that halophytes dominated in the non-road areas, while a number of typical non-salt-tolerant species dominated in the roadside areas. Compared to non-road areas, activities associated with roads significantly decreased soil moisture, bulk density and salinity and increased soil pH and nitrate content. Forward selection for the environmental variables in canonical correspondence analysis showed that soil salinity was the most important factor related to the variation of species composition between roadside and non-road areas. Our study demonstrates that road effects have a significant impact on the associated vegetation and soil, and these changes are consistent across roads of different ages in our system. © 2011 The Author. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Botanical Society of China. All rights reserved.

News Article | October 31, 2016
Site: www.prnewswire.com

EDEN, N.C., Oct. 31, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- After more than 60 years of reliable service to Duke Energy customers in Rockingham County and across the Carolinas, the Dan River Steam Station is no more. An early-morning implosion on Sunday brought down the plant's power house and three...

News Article | February 1, 2016
Site: www.sej.org

"RICHMOND, Va. — Two years after one of the nation's worst coal ash spills, 1 ½ million tons of the potentially toxic waste byproduct from coal-fired power generation is being moved by rail from the banks of the Dan River in North Carolina to a landfill in central Virginia. Three times a week, about 30 rail cars are loaded with coal ash from Duke Energy impoundments in Eden, North Carolina, and hauled to the landfill in rural Amelia County, about 40 miles southwest of Richmond. Those shipments are scheduled to double in February, increasing to 60 rail cars three times a week, each rail car carrying more than 100 tons of what the industry calls coal combustion residuals." Steve Szkotak reports for the Associated Press January 28, 2016.

News Article | November 9, 2015
Site: www.treehugger.com

Written by Kim Brewer, a mother-turned-advocate for strong and enforceable coal ash regulations. She lives in North Carolina. That's her pictured above, with her daughters Laney and Ava. Imagine spending your holidays in the hospital with a sick child. Imagine having to kiss your scared child goodbye before her thirteenth surgery, trying to be strong for her but knowing it won’t be her last operation. Imagine living in a town where other families are coping with raising children with neurological birth defects, not knowing what’s causing them or how to keep your family safe. I am a mother of four, and I don't have to imagine. This is the reality that my family lives every day. My older son and daughter were born perfectly healthy. After moving to Dukeville, North Carolina, our family grew by two daughters, each with severe birth defects. My daughter Ava, now five, was born with chiari malformation, a brain defect that can be caused either by genetic mutation or exposure to toxic chemicals. A genetic counselor was able to rule out genetics as the cause. My youngest daughter, Laney, was born with spina bifida, which can also be caused by environmental factors. Both my younger daughters have also been diagnosed with epilepsy. My family lives near the Buck Steam Station coal ash ponds in Rowan County. We never thought of the coal ash ponds as an issue, until the Dan River spill earlier this year -- that's part of the Dan River coal ash spill in the photo below. Our community started to learn about the dangers of coal ash when the Dan River spill happened. Each year in the United States, coal-fired plants produce 140 million tons of hazardous solid waste, known as coal ash. This waste is stored in 45 states and in more than 1,400 sites, like the three unlined coal ash pits in my former neighborhood. When coal ash spills or leaches into nearby groundwater or waterways, the toxins it contains pose serious health risks to nearby communities. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has found that living within one mile of a coal ash pit makes your lifetime risk of cancer far higher than smoking a pack of cigarettes a day. Along with hexavalent chromium, coal ash contains arsenic, lead, mercury, and selenium, as well as aluminum, barium, boron, chlorine, and even thallium, which is also found in rat poison. These toxins can cause cancer, heart damage, lung disease, respiratory distress, kidney disease, reproductive problems, gastrointestinal illness, birth defects, and impaired bone growth in children. In short, coal ash toxins have the potential to damage every one of our major organ systems. All of this came to light for us when a neighbor found what he believed was coal ash waste that had seeped onto his property. Fourteen wells in the neighborhood were tested and found to have concerning levels of hexavalent chromium, a toxic substance made infamous by environmental crusader Erin Brockovich and the film about her. During a routine test, doctors found Ava also had high levels of lead in her blood. It's been years, and still we don't know why my children or other children in our community are sick. We’re surrounded by toxic substances, and it isn't right. No family should have to go through what we’ve been through and will continue to go through. Shockingly, there are currently no federal standards for the storage and disposal of coal ash to protect communities and waterways from coal ash pollution. No national standards exist for monitoring groundwater or reporting coal ash integrity or pollution, even though the EPA has confirmed water contamination from every state where coal ash is stored, more than 200 cases total. However, the EPA is set to finalize standards for the first time ever this Friday, December 19. More than one and a half million American children live near coal ash pits or dumps. We can begin to put an end to the danger and keep our children safe, if the EPA creates strong federal standards for the disposal of coal ash, which it is charged with doing this week. As parents, it’s our job to do everything we can to keep our kids safe and healthy. In the case of coal ash, we need the EPA's help in doing so.

News Article | September 30, 2016
Site: www.sej.org

"The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights says coal ash ponds and landfills disproportionately affect poor and minority communities across the U.S. But that’s not what North Carolina officials found when they conducted their own “environmental justice reviews” of two sites this year. Duke Energy faces a 2019 deadline to move coal ash from existing pits to new, lined landfills at some North Carolina coal plants. It's already applied for permits at two - Dan River in Eden and the Sutton plant in Wilmington. Landfills like these are often in poor and minority areas, particularly in the South, says Therese Vick, a community organizer with the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League."

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