13373525-1392135462-640x360North Carolina has beautiful countryside, with the Appalachian mountains rolling through its western lands. A nice sprawl of rivers work their way through the state. Near the northern border winds Dan River. Once a serene river to fish from and an excellent source of fresh water, it has now become clouded with pollution from a catastrophic Duke Energy coal-ash spill. The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has issued a warning to all people on and along the river downstream of Duke’s Energy plant, telling people to avoid contact with any water or sediment in the area. They also advise everyone to not eat any fish miles downriver from the spill. The warning, which comes 10 days after the spill, reports that a Duke waste pond collapsed, sending 82,000 tons of coal ash and 27 million gallons of water flooding into the Dan River. The beautiful river clouded over quickly as the 27-acre waste pond drained into the fresh water, polluting it for miles. Officials from DHHS warned area residents of possible skin irritation if they were to come in contact with the polluted river water. As reported by The Charlotte Observer, DHHS stated that “‘a potential hazard exists immediately downstream of the release,’ and that people should avoid recreational contact with water and sediment from the river downstream of the spill, and not touch submerged or floating coal ash or ash that has washed up on the riverbank.” More