North Carolina regulators say aluminum and iron levels in the Dan River upstream from last month's coal ash spill exceeded state water quality standards, just like samples from downstream waters contaminated by the environmental disaster.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources disclosed Friday results from samples taken last week near a stormwater discharge point upstream of the Feb. 2 spill. A pipe under a Duke Energy coal ash dump collapsed, triggering sludge into the river.
The department said levels of other metals from samples at the same upstream location were within water standards. Orange-colored rocks in the river signaled high-iron levels.
Division of Water Resources Director Tom Reeder said in a release regulators will keep examining discharges as part of its monitoring of Duke Energy's coal-fired power plants.