Here’s an excerpt from the Associated Press article, which is being published at outlets across the country:
North Carolina’s environmental agency has ordered Duke Energy to install monitoring wells in a residential neighborhood outside Asheville to determine whether toxic chemicals from the company’s coal ash pits are contaminating homeowners’ drinking water.
During tests at five homes last fall, traces of thallium were detected in one of the drinking wells. Although below state or federal drinking water standards, authorities say more testing is needed to determine both the source and the severity of pollution they believe is leaching from coal ash pits nearly a quarter mile away.
The state has been concerned about the contamination since 2012, but says more study is needed to confirm whether Duke’s nearby dumps are to blame.
In the meantime, Duke has been delivering bottled water to two homes with drinking wells that tests show contain chemicals associated with coal ash. Among them is thallium, once widely used in rat poison until it was banned in the 1970s because it is so toxic.
Duke wants to ensure both homes have “safe water supplies,” spokeswoman Erin Culbert said.
But environmentalists say state regulators have moved too slowly to protect the environment, ensure safe drinking water or hold Duke accountable.
Read the full article here.