Toxic sludge coats the hand of an environmental activist from Appalachian Voices. Since Sunday, thousands of tons of poisonous coal ash have dumped into the Dan River from a North Carolina electricity plant. (Gerry Broome/AP)
February 15, 2014
EDEN, N.C. (AP) - Duke Energy says a second pipe under a coal ash dump in North Carolina is not in immediate danger of collapse, despite concerns from state regulators that the pipe could fail and trigger another toxic spill into the Dan River.
The state Department of Environment and Natural Resources said Friday that video taken inside the pipe shows potentially contaminated water leaking in through gaps and then out into the river.
Duke spokeswoman Paige Sheehan says the company's assessment is that "no immediate action" is necessary. The state has given Duke 10 days to come up with a plan to fix the leaks.
The third largest coal ash spill in U.S. history was triggered Feb. 2 when a similar pipe at Duke's dump collapsed.
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