Dan River Coal Spill & Cleanup Not Slowing River Activity

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DAN RIVER, NC -- In February, nearly 40,000 tons of coal ash spilled into the Dan River.

That's 80 million pounds of pollution that was released in the river water at Duke Energy's Eden power station.

"We were just shocked about the news about the spill. We didn't know how it would impact our summer business," said David Hoskins, who owns a canoes and kayaks rental company.

Hoskins said he believed the negative news surrounding the coal ash spill would sink his profits.

"Our worry was to be guilty to by association," said Hoskins, who owns The Dan River Company.

In May, Hoskins and other business owners told WFMY News 2 they are trying to change the perception of the Dan River. They want people to understand that the entire river isn't contaminated.

Now, months after the coal ash spill, Hoskins and other Dan River business owners are learning about the direct impact on their business, while the cleanup is still under in Danville, Va.

"Business is good for the preseason as what we call it," said Hoskins. "We were sold out yesterday and today and more than likely tomorrow," said Hoskins.

Hoskins told WFMY News 2, neither the coal ash spill or cleanup process is slowing business or stopping folks from enjoying the Dan River for the holiday weekend.

Hoskins said his workers at The Dan River Company are seeing solid river activity this holiday.

"The customers that have come so far are normally are people who normally come on the river. The vacationers are going to start now."

Several tubing, canoe and kayak business owners told WFMY News, they are hopeful and optimistic that things are going to work out this year. But want Duke Energy to be held responsible to ensure this doesn't happen again.

A Duke Energy spokesperson said crews are still in Danville, Va. cleaning up the coal ash. He said workers are making good progress.

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