RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina's environmental agency says it was wrong to declare the arsenic levels in the Dan River safe for people after a massive coal ash spill.
The state Department of Environment and Natural Resources said Sunday a water sample taken two days after the spill was four times higher than the maximum level for people to have prolonged contact, such as swimming.
The drinking water from the nearest town downstream has not been affected. Officials say the water treatment plant in Danville, Va., is removing the arsenic and other toxins from the water.
Duke Energy says it permanently plugged the leak Saturday, six days after it was discovered. Duke says up to 82,000 tons of ash from a coal-burning power plant mixed with 27 million gallons of contaminated water escaped.