Work to clean up and remove thousands of gallons of coal ash from the Dan River upstream of the Schoolfield Dam in North Carolina has been completed, according to Duke Energy.
The company said cleanup work has been reviewed and approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Since the operation began on 6 May, approximately 2500 t of coal ash and river sediment have been removed, Duke Energy said. Crews and equipment were staged at Abreu-Grogan Park in Danville for the past three months.
The company expects equipment demobilisation and restoration activities in the park to continue for the next two weeks, with plans to return the park to the public in late July. Schedules are, however, subject to change, due to weather and work conditions at the site.
As part of restoration efforts at the park, Duke Energy will repair and repave portions of the parking lot and reseed grass areas. In consultation with the city of Danville, the company will delay major plantings such as trees and shrubbery until the fall.
Duke Energy is working with the city of Danville to identify future opportunities for additional enhancements at the park such as improved river and fishing access areas.
The company previously completed removal of ash and sediment from water treatment facilities in Danville and South Boston, as well as from locations in the river at the Dan River Steam Station and Town Creek, two miles downstream from the plant. More than 500 t of coal ash and river sediment were removed from these areas.
All ash removal operations have been under the direction of the EPA and conducted in conjunction with state and other federal agencies. Based on the EPA’s criteria, there currently are no additional deposits to be removed from the river. Duke Energy, EPA and other agencies will continue monitoring and will remove additional coal ash and sediment deposits if identified and deemed necessary.
Duke Energy conducted nearly 2000 surface and drinking water samples in the Dan River. Drinking water quality has remained safe since the event on 2 February, 2014, and surface water quality returned to normal conditions within days of the event. As a result, the EPA, in conjunction with other federal and state agencies, has concluded that enhanced drinking and river water quality sampling is no longer necessary along the river. Sediment, fish tissue and other biological sampling will continue until further notice.
Edited from various sources by Sam Dodson
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcoal.com/power/22072014/duke-energy-releases-update-on-coal-ash-cleanup-project-1108/