South Carolina accidentally dumps coal ash in river

CONWAY, S.C. (AP) — The state-owned utility Santee Cooper says it accidentally dumped some sludge from a coal-ash pond at a closed coal-powered electricity plant into a South Carolina river.

The Post and Courier of Charleston reported Santee Cooper spokeswoman Millie Gore said workers at the old Grainger Generating Station in Conway discovered a pump system had started dredging up sediment from the bottom of a storage pond Jan. 30.

Gore says the material dumped into the Waccamaw River was probably a mixture of ash and soil.

She said the system is usually checked at night, but it was missed that night and workers found a line of sludge leading to the river the next morning. Gore says the company thinks about 7.5 cubic yards (5.7 cubic meters) of material escaped the containment pond.

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Information from: The Post and Courier, http://www.postandcourier.com