$5,000 Reward for Information that leads to Civil and/or Criminal Charges
Waterkeeper Alliance and Yadkin Riverkeeper today offered a $5,000 reward to anyone who can provide new evidence leading to civil and/or criminal charges against officials from Duke Energy, the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources, or others involved in the massive toxic coal ash spill on the Dan River.
Officials from Duke Energy first reported the spill on Sunday, February 2nd. But information from whistleblowers suggests that the spill, involving the release of an estimated 50,000 to 82,000 tons of coal ash mixed with 27 million gallons of contaminated water, may actually have begun earlier.
Several groups, including Waterkeeper Alliance and the Yadkin Riverkeeper, have also criticized the state regulators for waiting for nearly 24 hours before to alerting the public of a massive toxic waste release into a public drinking water supply. The state’s continued mishandling of the spill throughout the following week, including falsely informing the public that arsenic levels in the water were safe when its own data showed otherwise, has bred widespread mistrust among citizens. Now questions are being raised about whether North Carolina regulators have been colluding with the utility to conceal important information about the spill.
“Yadkin Riverkeeper is very concerned that there was a purposeful delay in the release of sample results from Duke Energy,” said Yadkin Riverkeeper Executive Director Dean Naujoks. “They were aware of the spill and collected samples long before we did. Their failure to provide accurate, timely information to the public about the high levels of heavy metals contaminating the Dan River for days is extremely irresponsible.”
“The fact it took more than five days for the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources to release complete water test results for heavy metals is inexcusable,” said Mr. Naujoks.
Those who can provide new information about the spill that leads to criminal and or civil charges should send evidence to firstname.lastname@example.org to claim the reward. Waterkeeper Alliance will evaluate all evidence submitted and provide the reward as it sees fit.
“Duke could have avoided contaminating the Dan River in North Carolina and poisoning Virginia's water supplies if it had removed its toxic ash heaps years ago after being warned by EPA,” said Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., President of Waterkeeper Alliance. “Environmental crime is not a victimless crime. The poisoning of the Dan River is an act of theft at the very least. North Carolina’s constitution provides that the people of North Carolina own the waterway but Duke Energy has now illegally privatized it.”