Study finds coal ash ponds polluting waters downstream of plants

Asheville coal-fired power plant

A study from Duke University said it found high levels of arsenic and other toxins in lakes and rivers downstream from Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK) coal-fired power plants’ coal ash ponds in North Carolina, according to the Asheville Citizen-Times.

Researchers published the report called “The Impact of Coal Combustion Residue Effluent on Water Resources: A North Carolina Example,” in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Science & Technology. Researchers tested more than 300 water samples from 11 bodies of water across the state, the article said, and found several cases where levels of contamination far exceeded U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards for drinking water.

The article said one of the worst offenders was the 376 MW Asheville coal-fired power plant in Skyland, N.C. Researchers reportedly found arsenic levels in the French Broad River were more than four times higher than the EPA drinking water standard, and levels of selenium 17 times higher than the standard for aquatic life.

To purchase the full study, click here.

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