Professional Engineers Of North Carolina

SUM 2014

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12 the Professional Engineer Summer 2014 Providing Sustainable Solutions for our North Carolina Clients ch2mhill.com The Clarks Group Professional Staffng & Recruitment Service One of the Top Recruiting Firms in the Triad named by the Triad Business Journal Currently Recruiting The Following Engineers: Design Quality Mechanical Project Chemical Industrial Electrical Controls www.TheClarksGroup.com 336-765-7377 Fundamentally Different…Measurably Better… Product Development constituents: aluminum, arsenic, copper and iron. Aluminum and iron concentrations in the Dan River typically exceed N.C. Water Quality Standards for Aquatic Health. Te ash spill appears to have increased these levels for two days after the spill. A similar efect can be observed for arsenic and copper. Te estimated spill volume — 27 million gallons — represented about 5% of water fowing in the Dan River at the time. Te environmental impact of the Dan River spill has thus far been limited. Dilution is not the solution to pollution, but it helps. Toxicity depends on concentration and expo- sure. If you look at a bottle of multivitamins, you likely will fnd boron, chromium, copper, selenium and other elements — whose existence has been used to defne CFA as hazardous — listed as ingredients. Tese elements exist at trace — less than 1% — concentrations in bCFA and soil, both of which are defned primarily by elements such as aluminum, calcium, iron, oxygen and silicon. Te soil in your backyard quite possibly leaches one or more trace elements at levels that are reasonably low yet greater than drinking-water standards. Tat is no cause for alarm. Ash, at least, can be contained. Still, many remain concerned about CFA use and disposal, especially given the prevailing narrative presented in media outlets and advocacy groups. We need to thoughtfully evaluate when and how ash should be managed. What is the risk posed by unlined ash ponds throughout the state? Which ones should be addressed frst? What methods are appropriate? How can CFA be re-used (preferably) or disposed in a sustainable and responsible way? Tere is a robust body of technical literature, case histories and standards that can help with these questions. And the answers are always site-specifc and require the input of scientists and licensed professional engineers. Dr. John L. Daniels is an associate professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UNC Charlotte. F E AT U R E S T O R Y

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