Coal Ash Release Emergency Response, NC and VA

With 1 hour notice, Weston provided response and cleanup support for a failed storm sewer line under the primary ash basin at the Dan River Steam Station where over 30,000 cubic yards of coal ash and approximately 29 million gallons of ash pond water waste was released into the Dan River.

On February 2, 2014 a 48-inch diameter storm sewer line under the primary ash basin at the Dan River Steam Station located along the border of Virginia and North Carolina (EPA Region 3 and EPA Region 4) failed, releasing over 30,000 cubic yards of coal ash into a river in addition to approximately 29 million gallons of ash pond water waste. Weston provided high-quality support during the response and cleanup efforts.

We collected surface water, interstitial water, drinking water, sediment, ash, and soil samples during the assessment of over 120 miles of the river. The following efforts were also made that were benefits to the response:

  • Data Validation was performed on a short turnaround time.
  • A data management team was formed and the transition of data management tasks from Region 4 to Region 3 was seamlessly executed by Weston, with no disruption of timely deliverables.
  • GIS mapping support was quickly provided with several iterations based on multiple client comments (EPA Regions 3 and 4).
  • Presented EPA sampling results at interagency meetings on a regular basis.

During the response effort , Weston collected over 250 surface water and groundwater samples and over 370 sediment, soil, and ash samples, including samples near three drinking water intakes along the Dan River to ensure that the water supply for nearby residents was not impacted.