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Posted Mon Nov 30 2009: from McClatchy Newspapers:
Effects of using ash remain unknown
Millions of pounds of Duke Energy's coal ash, a byproduct of power plants that can contaminate water, lies underground in the Charlotte region as regulators increase their scrutiny of the waste. Nobody knows whether it poses a threat. North Carolina requires no permits, protective liners or checks of groundwater when ash is used to fill gullies or prepare roadbeds and building foundations. Duke deposited 2.7 million tons of ash for those uses between 1992 and 2003... Duke's Belews Creek power plant in Stokes County proves the value of monitoring ash deposits. Duke had to shut down an ash landfill at the plant in 2008 after repeatedly exceeding state groundwater safety standards... Coal ash contains metals that can be toxic in high concentrations, and Duke Energy has recently detected tainted groundwater near its basins.
[Read more stories about: coal issues, contamination, heavy metals]

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'Doc Michael says:
I'm gonna make a wild guess and say ... yes, it's a threat.

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