- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 2, 2016

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Arsenic levels are dropping in ground water near the Wateree River in eastern Richland County as SCE&G; continues cleaning up coal ash resulting from generating electric power.

According to The State of Columbia (https://bit.ly/1RYhCcq ) a recent report prepared for the Department of Health and Environmental Control shows sharp declines in arsenic at several locations at the utility’s Wateree plant.

The company and environmentalists who once sued say the improvement resulted from cleaning the ash.

Frank Holleman of the Southern Environmental Law Center says the work is significant because the ash lagoons are upstream from Congaree National Park.

SCE&G; settled a lawsuit in 2012 and has since removed almost 890,000 tons of coal ash. The company plans to remove more than 2 million tons and put it in a lined landfill.

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