Sunday, March 23, 2014

Dan River Basin Association to hold meeting for farmers, landowners on coal ash spill


Dan River Basin Association to hold meeting for farmers, landowners on coal ash spill

Posted: Thursday, March 20, 2014 12:40 pm 
Farmers, livestock owners, and the public are invited to a conversation about the potential impact of the Dan River coal ash spill on agriculture and livestock activities along the river Monday, March 24, beginning at 6 p.m. at the North Carolina Extension Office in Wentworth, N.C.

Coal ash is the waste material left behind after coal is burned to generate electricity.
Up to 89,000 tons of ash leaked into the Dan River over six days beginning on Feb. 2.

Coal ash is highly toxic, containing arsenic, chromium, and lead, among other heavy metals.

According to water test results released by the Waterkeeper Alliance in the immediate aftermath of the spill, arsenic levels immediately downstream of the spill were nearly 30 times higher, chromium levels are were more than 27 times higher, and lead levels were more than 13 times higher than water samples drawn from upstream of the spill.

A map of the sampling sites is found here:

"We're are not certain exactly how many farmers and livestock owners use water from the Dan River," said Jenny Edwards, program manager for the Dan River Basin Association, " but we know for sure that during high flooding events, if that coal ash is still in the river, it's going to wash over those farms. That's a big concern.

We want to give farmers a place to come together and ask questions. DRBA will do its level best to find answers to those questions."

The event is free.

It will be held in the Rockingham County, N.C., Cooperative Extension Center at 525 NC 65, Reidsville, N.C.

For more information, contact Jenny Edwards at or the DRBA office at (336) 627-6270.
For information about the Dan River Basin Association, visit