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April 23, 2014

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Broken pipe spills coal ash in Dan River in NC

Updated Monday, Feb. 3, 2014 | 3:20 p.m.

EDEN, N.C. (AP) — Duke Energy says a pipe broke under a coal ash pond and released an unknown amount of the waste material into a North Carolina river near the Virginia border.

The utility says the pipe broke Sunday afternoon at the now closed Dan River Steam Station in Eden. Crews are working to get all the water out of the broken pipe.

Duke says the dam holding back the water in the ash basin remains solid despite some erosion.

Engineers are trying to figure out how much ash and water made it into the river.

A water quality monitoring team is checking, but the utility says downstream water supplies have not been affected.

Coal ash is the waste left after burning. It contains arsenic, mercury, lead, and over a dozen other heavy metals, many of them toxic