February 6, 2014 |
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.
February 4, 2014 |
Tens of thousands of tons of coal ash have spilled into the Dan River from a closed North Carolina coal plant since Sunday, but drinking water supplies have not been affected, according to municipal officials and the plant's owner, Duke Energy. Between 50,000 and 82,000 tons of ash have poured into the Dan River, which flows between North Carolina and Virginia, Duke Energy said. Corporate officials, who blamed a broken storm water pipe, said Tuesday that the utility was still working to stop the leak at the Dan River Steam Station in Eden, N.C. About 24 to 27 million gallons of basin water from a 27-acre coal ash reservoir at the retired plant also spilled into the river, Duke Energy said in a statement.
February 3, 2014 |
As California's drought continues, and more than a dozen rural communities ponder what to do when their drinking water runs out sometime in March, it would be nice if the state's Republican politicians brought some straightforward plans for relief to the table. But what many of them are bringing instead is a tired political tactic barely, and laughably, disguised as a remedy for the lack of rainfall. The "man-made California drought" is the term House Republicans use to describe the state's current dry condition, as if it were somehow the hand of humankind, environmentalists or, even worse, Democrats that has stopped the snowfall over the Sierra and kept the dams that store water for fields, orchards and homes from being replenished.
January 29, 2014 |
First, federal regulators couldn't explain the possible health dangers posed by the mysterious coal-cleansing chemical that spilled into West Virginia's drinking water -- except that pregnant woman shouldn't drink it even after the water had been declared safe for everyone else. Then the chemical company responsible for the spill belatedly admitted a second, equally unpronounceable chemical containing ether also had been dumped into the water. Now comes this warning for hundreds of thousands of West Virginians: They may be inhaling formaldehyde while showering in the tainted water, which was declared safe for human consumption a week after the Jan. 9 spill into the Elk River just north of downtown Charleston.
January 23, 2014 |
Old rovers can indeed learn new tricks. Rolling into its 10th anniversary on the Red Planet, Opportunity has discovered clay minerals showing that life-friendly water flowed on Mars in the earliest epoch of its history. The findings indicate that Curiosity's groundbreaking discovery last year of clays capable of hosting microbes like those on Earth was no fluke, experts said. “We've basically found strong evidence for clays on both sides of the planet,” said Cornell University planetary scientist Steve Squyres, lead scientist for NASA's Mars Exploration Rover program and coauthor of a report published in Friday's edition of the journal Science.
January 22, 2014 |
BRIDGEWATER, Va. - The headwaters of the Potomac River rise amid the hills and hollows of George Washington National Forest in Virginia. Small creeks dart past oak, white pine and hickory, become streams that nourish farmland and towns, and create a river that courses through two states and the nation's capital. About 4 million people depend on that water. For decades, the U.S. Forest Service identified preserving its purity as the top priority for the national forest. Now, the agency is considering allowing George Washington to become the first national forest to permit high-volume hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.