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Dan River Coal Ash Spill Not Yet Fully Contained In North Carolina, Duke Energy Says

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Amy Adams, North Carolina campaign coordinator with Appalachian Voices, shows her hand covered with wet coal ash from the Dan River swirling in the background as state and federal environmental officials continued their investigations of a spill of coal ash into the river in Danville, Va., Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014. Duke Energy estimates that up to 82,000 tons of ash has been released from a break in a 48-inch storm water pipe at the Dan River Power Plant in Eden N.C. on Sunday. (AP Photo/Gerry Br
Amy Adams, North Carolina campaign coordinator with Appalachian Voices, shows her hand covered with wet coal ash from the Dan River swirling in the background as state and federal environmental officials continued their investigations of a spill of coal ash into the river in Danville, Va., Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014. Duke Energy estimates that up to 82,000 tons of ash has been released from a break in a 48-inch storm water pipe at the Dan River Power Plant in Eden N.C. on Sunday. (AP Photo/Gerry Br

EDEN, N.C. (AP) — 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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