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Coal ash not yet fully contained from NC river

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Eden, N.C. -

Duke Energy says it is diverting the flow of coal ash from reaching a North Carolina river, but the company cannot yet declare the massive spill fully contained nearly a week after it was first discovered.

Company spokeswoman Meghan Musgrave said Friday that engineers at the Dan River Steam Station have designed a containment system that is capturing nearly all of the toxic runoff and pumping it back into a storage basin. The nation's largest electricity provider says up to 82,000 tons of coal ash mixed with 27 million gallons of contaminated water have escaped since a drainage pipe running under a 27-acre waste pond collapsed Sunday, turning the river gray for miles.

Officials 20 miles downstream in Danville, Va., say they are successfully filtering arsenic, lead and other toxins from drinking water.

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