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Industrial Disasters
Coal ash contamination upsets residents near North Carolina plants
Coal ash contamination upsets residents near North Carolina plants

As a boy, Ron Thomas often watched murky water pour from a pipe into the Yadkin River behind his family's farmhouse, dumped from coal ash storage ponds at Duke Energy's Buck electricity plant. Now 80, Thomas worries that he and his wife, Joann, 72, have for decades been drinking well water contaminated by the ponds. On April 22, the couple received a letter from state health authorities warning them not to drink or cook with their well water because of elevated levels of a carcinogen. The well at the couple's pre-Civil War farmhouse is just 400 feet from the coal ash ponds. The grayish water is visible from the grassy pasture behind their home. Like other residents who...

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