Questions about coal ash not sinking Dan River business

ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, N.C. — North Carolina’s coal ash spill in February which dominated headlines for months and is still being cleaned up in Danville, Va., is not scaring visitors away from the Dan River.

Dan River Adventures is seeing strong campground and river activity business this holiday weekend.

“The main impact from that has been just answering the questions about it,” said Glenn Bozorth, the company owner.

On Friday, tubers filled every spot on the bus. The river is expected to be just as busy on Saturday.

Some of those visitors said the coal ash was something they talked about in the early stages of planning their trip but booked the trip anyway.

“In our own internal discussions and debates we came to the realization that it’s clearly not an issue for us down here and we might as well come enjoy the river,” said Angelo Charbonnier, who tubed the river with a group of friends from Winston-Salem.

According to Dan River Adventures, the coal ash spill was approximately 20 miles downriver from its headquarters. Neither the spill nor the cleanup in Danville has a direct impact on business but Bozorth said he’d like to see the state prompt Duke Energy to take quick action on all coal ash deposits, including ash from the Belews Creek Steam Station just up the river.

“They’re saying it’s a comprehensive plan but they’re only listing four sites for immediate cleanup,” said Bozorth.