(AP Photo/The Charlotte Observer, John D. Simmons)
DANVILLE (WRIC) - Workers along the Dan River are scrambling to stop a toxic leak of coal ash that has turned the river into gray sludge.
The leak was found over the weekend at a power plant storage pond in North Carolina. More than 82,000 tons of ash poured into the river, and the gray stuff has made its way downstream into Virginia.
The city of Danville is filtering the drinking water and environmental workers are testing the water to see if there's any threat to people or animals. They say it will likely kill fish.
"I am closely monitoring the situation involving the coal ash spill in North Carolina and the potential impact on Virginia," Gov. Terry McAuliffe says in a statement. "I have directed the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, and the Virginia Department of Health to continue to evaluate the quality and safety of the Dan River's water supply. At this time the water supply remains safe for human consumption, and we will continue to monitor the situation as it progresses."
McAuliffe says Virginia is ready to provide assistance to protect the quality of the water supply in the areas in both states that could be affected.