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PFOA-Contaminated Water Used By 20% of NJ Residents

One in Five New Jersey residents drinks, cooks with, and bathes in tap water containing PFOA – a manmade chemical linked to cancer and child developmental problems – according to a new study by the Environmental Working Group (EWG). PFOA (Perfluorooctanoic acid) was widely used as a surfactant in waterproofing and non-stick applications, such as in cookware and fabric coatings, before it was phased out in 2002 because of health concerns. Also known as C8, PFOA recirculates through the environment because it never breaks down. According to EWG’s study, in no other state are more people using PFOA-contaminated water than ... Read More

Benzene found in well water in Tennessee; City and County argue over funding repairs

For six years, many residents of Lewisburg, Tennessee can only drink bottled water. They refuse to drink their own tap water after the state found benzene and other contaminates in the well water back in 2011. When the State of Tennessee offered a grant to pay half the cost of repairing the water contamination issue, the city and county began fighting over the money. Pipelines to carry city water to the residents on both sides of Craig Moore Road have already been installed, but a two-mile section is missing from the middle. Lewisburg Mayor Jim Bingham said the city can’t afford ... Read More

Legionnaire’s Death Toll Grows To 12 in Flint, Michigan

Most of the press concerning Flint, Michigan’s water crisis has focused on lead contamination and its devastating impact on many of the city’s children, but public health officials are also working to determine the extent of an outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease likely tied to the corrupted water system. Michigan health officials reviewing medical data concerning the Legionnaire’s outbreak have confirmed 91 cases of the disease during the 17-month period in 2014 and 2015, a span of time correlating to the period that Flint began drawing its water from the highly contaminated Flint River instead of from Detroit and Lake Huron. ... Read More

Legionnaire’s Outbreak Deepens Flint, Michigan Water Crisis

An outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease that has sickened dozens of people in Flint, Mich., is likely tied to the city’s heavily contaminated tap water, which prompted President Obama last week to declare a state of emergency and Michigan governor Rick Snyder to seek federal relief. Flint’s water problems undoubtedly constitute one of the biggest failures of regulatory oversight and political penny pinching in decades. It started in April 2014 when the municipal officials switched the city’s water supply from Lake Huron to the heavily contaminated Flint River strictly as a cost-cutting measure. For nearly two years, the people of Flint ... Read More

Companies involved in West Virginia chemical spill that contaminated drinking water face numerous lawsuits

In January of 2014, 300,000 West Virginia residents were left without water for more than a week due to a chemical spill in the Elk River, just upstream from the Kanawha County municipal water intake in Charleston, W. Va. At 6 p.m. on the day of the spill, the Office of the Governor of West Virginia issued a “Do Not Use” order on the residents’ tap water. The spill originated from Freedom Industries, a Charleston-based manufacturer of specialty chemicals used in the mining, steel, and cements industries. Soon after the spill was discovered, a pungent odor permeated the cities near the river. ... Read More

Duke Energy agrees to coal ash spill cleanup plan with federal officials

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said Thursday that it and Duke Energy of North Carolina agreed on a plan to clean up the energy company’s massive coal ash spill that flooded the Dan River with about 40,000 tons of toxic coal waste February 2. According to the terms of the agreement, the EPA will supervise Duke Energy’s spill cleanup efforts. The North Carolina Department of the Environment and Natural Resources, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, and federal wildlife officials will also provide input and consultation. Duke is required to reimburse the EPA for all costs the agency incurs in ... Read More

Duke Energy says customers will pay its hefty coal ash cleanup costs

Duke Energy’s CEO Lynn Good said that its customers will pay the costs of cleaning up dozens of the company’s toxic waste sites throughout North Carolina, many of which are contaminating the groundwater with arsenic and heavy metals. Last week, a North Carolina Superior Court judge ruled in favor of the Southern Environmental Law Center, ordering Duke to take “immediate action” to stop its 33 coal ash ponds across the state from further contaminating the groundwater with arsenic, mercury, lead, and several other toxic heavy metals and contaminants. The order was issued after one of Duke’s coal ash ponds spilled ... Read More

Toxic coal ash sludge blankets more than 70 miles of riverbed, lake bottoms

While North Carolina environmental regulators have been downplaying the risks posed by Duke Energy’s massive coal ash spill, U.S. officials said Tuesday that the highly toxic coal ash has coated the bottom of the Dan River up to 70 miles downstream of the spill site. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials said that near Duke Energy’s Dan River facility, the toxic sludge has formed a giant pile 75 feet long and 5 feet deep. More than 82,000 tons of coal ash containing arsenic, heavy metals, and other toxins flowed into the Dan River Feb. 2 from a 27-acre ash pond ... Read More

N.C. toxic coal ash cleanup mired in political interests

The North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources asked a judge last week to throw out its own proposed settlement with Duke Energy over pollution leaking from waste dumps at its power plants. The state agency requested the action the day after an Associated Press (AP) story was published, describing the settlement as a “sweetheart deal” between state regulators and Duke Energy, the nation’s largest electrical company. The proposed settlement would have had Duke pay fines of just $99,111 for pollution that spilled from coal ash dumps in Asheville and Charlotte. State regulators and Duke reached the settlement before ... Read More

North Carolina power plant spills tons of toxic coal ash into river

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – A Charlotte-based energy supplier blamed a broken storm water pipe at a shuttered power plant for spilling up to 82,000 tons of toxic coal ash into the Dan River near the Virginia border. Duke Energy Corp. said that coal ash, a waste product created  by burning coal to generate electricity, spilled into the river from a 27-acre ash pond at the Dan River Steam Station about 30 miles north of Greensboro. The plant has been inactive since 2012, but the site was never cleaned up. The company said that a 48-inch pipe underneath the ash pond broke ... Read More