Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Worried about our water? Speak up at tonight's hearing.

Posted By on Tue, Oct 19, 2010 at 11:14 AM

The N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources is holding a public hearing in Mooresville tonight. The topic: Pollution discharge permits for three Duke Energy coal plants — one is on Lake Norman, one is on Mountain Island Lake and the other is on Lake Wylie. All three, by way of everyday operating procedures, heat the water in the lakes (which lowers the amount of oxygen in the water and can kill fish) and discharge pollutants into the lakes.

The hearing follows news from Mecklenburg County that they have, again, detected arsenic levels exceeding state water quality standards in Mountain Island Lake — our area's main drinking water reservoir.

You should know, the permit for the two Duke Energy unlined, high-hazard coal ash ponds on that lake expired in February of this year, and the one proposed to take its place doesn't limit the amount of arsenic that can be discharged into the lake.

Again, this isn't just any body of water ... it's our drinking water. When you turn on your taps, there's a high probability that Mountain Island Lake is what flows out of it.

If you'd like to attend the hearing, here are the details:

  • You’ll need to arrive by 6 p.m. to register to speak at the hearing.
  • Include I-77’s daily traffic congestion in your planning. Get there early and enjoy one of Mooresville's great restaurants.
  • You’ll have three minutes to speak, so come prepared.
  • The location: Charles Mack Citizen Center, 215 N. Main Street, Mooresville, N.C. (map)
  • Review the proposed permits here.

Read more about what the county found in our water, and why they've asked NCDENR to limit the amount of arsenic — and 13 other heavy metals — Duke Energy can discharge, from The Charlotte Observer's Bruce Henderson here.

Find out what the Catawba Riverkeeper thinks about the permits for the three coal plants here.

Further reading:

The future of coal: Old energy source under new pressures, but it’s not dust yetKnoxville News Sentinel

Learn more about arsenic:

Rhiannon "Rhi" Bowman is an independent journalist who contributes snarky commentary on Creative Loafing's CLog blog four days a week in addition to writing for several other local media organizations. To learn more, click the links or follow Rhi on Twitter.

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