Yadkin Riverkeeper enters 2015 emboldened  by an expansion in its leadership team.

The organization, which is devoted to protecting and improving the Yadkin River Basin, recently hired a new executive director to focus on fundraising and membership recruitment.

For years, the executive director has also juggled duties as Riverkeeper.

Now, that role will be filled by Will Scott, an expert in environmental law.

Scott says he's concerned about contaminated seepage believed to have been leaked from from Duke Energy's Buck Power Plant in Rowan County. 

"We found high levels of lead, arsenic and also chromium," says Scott. "These are some of the signature coal ash contaminants and we believe that these are metals that are leaking out of the oldest coal ash at Duke."

Duke has said it has examined the sites and the elements are naturally occurring and harmless. 

Scott says he's also asked the EPA for a Superfund assessment of the shuttered Badin Works aluminum smelter, and is planning more testing for the Upper Yadkin to see how it's affecting High Rock Lake. 
"We're really looking to improve water quality all across the Yadkin,' says Scott. "We're hoping to bring together stakeholders throughout the basin to examine what we're all putting into the Yadkin and how we can reduce pollution into it to clean up our water."

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