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Dan River coal ash spill. Photo by Rick Dove, Waterkeeper Alliance Inc. CC BY-NC 2.0.

Dan River natural resource trustees seek public input on draft damage assessment plan for Dan River coal ash spill

State and federal partners are seeking public feedback on a plan to assess potential natural resource injuries resulting from the release of hazardous substances into the Dan River and associated habitats downstream.   

A natural resource damage assessment and restoration process was initiated by the natural resource trustees (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, and the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources) to address the Feb. 2, 2014 coal ash spill at the Dan River Steam Station in Eden, N.C.

The trustees’ Draft Dan River Coal Ash Spill Natural Resource Damage Assessment Plan outlines the procedures to be used to evaluate potential injuries to natural resources and the services they provide to the public. The geographic scope of the plan includes the point of discharge from the facility’s storm sewer management pipe in Eden, N.C., and extends about 77 river miles to include Buggs Island Lake on the John H. Kerr Reservoir in Virginia and North Carolina. The trustees may pursue compensation to restore, replace or acquire the equivalent of the injured natural resources and their services.

To obtain a copy of the draft assessment plan and learn more about the damage assessment and restoration process for the Dan River coal ash spill, visit and select the Draft Assessment Plan link.

Public participation is an important part of the natural resource damage assessment and restoration process. As outlined in the notice, people have 30 days, or until July 17, to comment on the draft assessment plan. Requests for paper copies and written comments regarding the plan should be addressed to: Sara Ward, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, P.O. Box 33726, Raleigh, NC  27636-3726, 919-856-4520 ext. 30, or Susan Lingenfelser, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 6669 Short Lane, Gloucester VA 23061, 804-824-2415,


Phil Kloer, USFWS Southeast Region External Affairs
(404) 679-7306,

Meagan Racey, USFWS Northeast Region External Affairs
(o) 413-253-8558, (m) 413-658-4386,

Jamie Kritzer, N.C. Department of Environmental and Natural Resources,
Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs,

Bill Hayden, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information on our work and the people who can make it happen, visit Connect with the Service on Facebook, follow our tweets, watch the YouTube Channel and download photos from Flickr.

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