"EDEN, N.C. – An environmental group Thursday challenged Duke Energy’s assurances that drinking water from the Dan River in North Carolina and Virginia remained safe despite a massive spill of toxic coal ash that released a deluge of murky gray sludge into the river Sunday."
"The Waterkeeper Alliance said its tests of water collected just yards from the spill site here showed dangerous level of toxins, including arsenic, chromium, lead, iron and other heavy metals. Arsenic levels in the samples were 35 times higher than the maximum containment level set by the Environmental Protection Agency for drinking water, the group said.
'The stuff flowing into the river out of that pipe is disturbingly high in toxins and laden with heavy metals,' Peter Harrison, staff attorney for the alliance, said as he stood on the riverbank downstream from the spill site late Thursday afternoon. Tests were conducted by a certified lab in North Carolina, he said.
The samples were collected Tuesday, 48 hours after the spill was discovered, Harrison said. He spent two hours in a kayak on the river Thursday, collecting more water samples whose test results are expected in a few days."