For the last two years, Western North Carolina Alliance’s two Riverkeepers Hartwell Carson and Donna Lisenby have researched water pollution impacts from the Asheville coal-fired power plant.
Yesterday, Duke University released an important study documenting high levels of water pollution in rivers across North Carolina from ten coal-fired power plants. The study results showed that the French Broad River and Mountain Island Lake have the highest levels of arsenic contamination of all the sites studied. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) drinking water standard for arsenic is 10 µg/L. The Duke University study found 44.5 µg/L of arsenic at the Asheville coal-fired power plant discharge into the French Broad River and a whopping 92 µg/L of arsenic in the Riverbend discharge to Mountain Island Lake. This small lake provides drinking water to nearly one million people in the greater Charlotte region of Mecklenburg and Gaston counties.