Preparing for Florence’s Fallout

Hurricane Florence’s torrential rains are set to pummel the US East Coast this week in a potentially-historic storm—and that could set off a public health nightmare, contaminating drinking water with overflowed toxic waste and manure.

The livestock industry in North Carolina—a top producer of poultry and hogs—relies on man-made lagoons to store manure, which now run the risk of flooding during the storm. The Waterkeeper Alliance calls the storage methods “archaic.” And Duke Energy Corp.’s mandated clean-up of coal-ash ponds, which contain metals like arsenic, chromium, and mercury, won’t be completed before the storm hits, leaving the plants vulnerable to overflowing.


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