Deposition Reveals New Details In Lawsuit Over Coal Ash Pollution

Deposition Reveals New Details In Lawsuit Over Coal Ash Pollution

5:35pm May 13, 2016
Environmental groups are suing Duke Energy over coal ash pollution -- KERI BROWN/WFDD

New information is coming out involving Duke Energy’s coal ash storage ponds.

One of the state’s top health experts disagrees with a decision to call wells near coal ash dumps safe.

The Southern Environmental Law Center represents a number of local organizations who are suing Duke Energy for its coal ash pollution. They want the company to move the waste to lined storage areas away from rivers, streams, or drinking water intake sites.

A deposition in the case this month centered partly around do-not-drink advisories the state issued last year to hundreds of private well owners. Those orders were later rescinded.

Dr. Megan Davies is with the state Department of Health and Human Services. In her testimony, she says she did not agree with her agency telling more than 200 homeowners that their wells contained safe levels of vanadium and the carcinogen hexavalent chromium.

According to the Winston-Salem Journal, the company also met with state officials to challenge the water advisories.

Duke Energy says it’s not responsible for the contaminants, which are found in coal ash, and can occur naturally in the environment.

State health officials say similar levels of the metals can also be found in some public drinking water systems.

The state is requiring the company to close all of its ash basins by 2029. Duke Energy says its already started the cleanup process at some of the locations.

*Follow WFDD's Keri Brown on Twitter @kerib_news

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