On March 23, 2018, Danville held a public meeting that was widely attended. The research presented at the meeting was conducted by Dan Gallagher, Greg Boardman, Adil Godrej, and Andrea Dietrich, along with Brian Badgely in Crop Soil and Environmental Sciences at Virginia Tech. The research team performed an in depth investigation into the chemical and microbiological quality of the Dan River, and also the Smith River which was our comparison river. The focus was to find links between the 39,000 ton Duke Energy coal ash spill into the Dan River in 2014 and subsequent taste-and-odor events in drinking water produced from Dan River. The project also involved the City of Danville, Town of South Boston, VDH, DEQ, Consultants, and citizens in the Dan River Coalition. The team found that the Dan River has a signature of metals and inorganic chemicals associated with coal-fired plants, but this could not be connected to the taste and odor events in the drinking water.
For more information about the study, see the Roanoke Times coverage or the WSLS coverage.