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EPA provides update on Dan River, environmentalists press for an end to unsafe coal ash storage (video)

Representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency hold a community briefing in Eden this evening, providing residents with the latest information on water quality following the massive coal ash spill into the Dan River.

Tonight’s meeting comes just hours after John Skvarla, Secretary for the NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) defended his agency’s handling of Duke Energy’s coal ash disaster.

Skvarla told reporters that environmentalists who have criticized the department in recent days don’t have all the facts:

“It had become very clear … their desired outcome was what I call one size fits all,” Skvarla said. “The only acceptable remedy was dig them up, move them to lined landfills and cover them. … I can assure you it’s not that simple.”

The hour-long press briefing did little to quiet the controversy. The U.S. Attorney in Raleigh is expanding its criminal investigation of the coal ash spill at Duke Energy’s Dan River plant to include spills at other company plants.

The North Carolina Conservation Network is urging legislators and the Governor to pass legislation this year that would bring an end to the unsafe storage of coal ash.

Grady McCallie with the Conservation Network joins us this week on News & Views with Chris Fitzsimon to discuss the the massive coal ash spill on the Dan River and DENR’s efforts to hold Duke Energy accountable. For a preview of their interview, click below:

Tonight’s community briefing in Eden will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Eden City Hall Council Chambers, 308 E. Stadium Drive

There will also be a second community briefing for South Boston, VA on Thursday, February 20th from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Washington Coleman Community Center, 1927 Jeffress Blvd.

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