In a statement she says: “We are responsible for what happened and we are accountable.”
“Ongoing water sampling of the river shows the amount of trace elements in the water is returning to pre-accident levels.”
She says Duke Energy’s scientists continue to work with professionals from several environmental groups to determine additional measures.
Evans went on to say that the cost of the major clean-up would be shouldered by the company shareholders, not the customers, as previously stated.
It was originally believed that 52,000-82,000 tons of coal ash went into the Dan River, but that estimate had since been reduced to 30,000-39,000t, she said.
“Duke Energy’s water sampling data demonstrates the Dan River has returned to ‘pre-event’ water quality conditions,” said Evans, adding that drinking water has remained safe.
She did concede Duke still had much more work to do in its clean-up efforts.
At the Dan River site, the company will permanently close the ash basins and move the ash away from the river for use as fine structural fill, for construction, or move it to a lined landfill.
Crews are working at the site making sure the pipes are properly sealed.
Duke Energy continues to work with EPA and others on an agreed plan for the Dan River.