North Carolina’s Dept of Water Resources is taking public comments on their long overdue Triennial Review of NC Water Quality Standards. The proposed changes fall short of what we need to protect our waters including better nutrient, toxic metal, flow standards – and what to do with the multitude of fracking chemicals that could be in our state soon. Elimination of some standards for metals (described as harmless background levels in NC) discounts the fact that they are present in large amounts in coal ash ponds leaking into our surface waters. Clean water starts with regulations that protect us from pollution! Read the Haw River Assembly’s talking points and send your own comments into NC DENR before August 22.The email and postal addresses are included in the talking points.
Public Hearings on Fracking Rules begin this Week. The only good rule would be a BAN on an industry that is too great a risk to our waters and communities.
New legislation signed by Governor McCrory lifts the moratorium on fracking and will allow permits for drilling to be issued starting in 2015, with no final vote by the legislature or review of the new fracking laws that are supposed to protect North Carolina from this risky and polluting industry. The legislature and Governor have broken their promise. Let’s make sure to flood the state Mining and Energy hearings on new (and too weak) fracking laws in August:
1. Raleigh, Wednesday, August 13. Athens Drive High School Auditorium, 1420 Athens Drive, Raleigh, NC. 10:00 AM-2:00 PM
2. Sanford, Friday, August 22. Wicker Civic Center, 1801 Nash St., Sanford, NC. 5:00-9:00 PM
3. Reidsville, Monday, August 25. Rockingham County High School, 180 High School Road, Reidsville, NC. 5:00-9:00 PM
Who’s Been Hurt By Fracking and Gas Development in the US?
See the truth at “List of the Harmed” The oil and gas industry says that reports of well contamination and other impacts of drilling, fracking, wastewater, air contamination and health effects are exaggerated and undocumented. The Pennsylvania Alliance for Clean Water and Air continues to compile the “List of the Harmed” from news reports and contacts across the US. Now including 1,700 reports, each with the names of actual people harmed, their location, the responsible oil and gas operator, and the specific impact, the List also provides web links for further information and media stories.
Over the years many people have given their hearts, hands and spirits to the continual creation of the Haw River Learning Celebration that -to this day- has thrived for 24 beautiful years and has connected over 40,000 4th grade students to this amazing river. Students learn about their “ecological address” and experience our incredible programs that lead children ultimately to witness, observe, explore and discover. Please join us for an amazing and truly fun day or week by the Haw River and help us celebrate 25 years of dedication this fall!
We will hold our 25th Anniversary Haw River Learning Celebration Program this fall from September 20th, 2014 to October 1oth, 2014. Approximately 1300 fourth graders will take part in an adventure throughout the forest and along the river banks of the Haw River at each location. 100 or more volunteers will be trail and activity guides, and another 25 help with the logistics of the volunteer crew who will be camping in the woods. This unique three-week riverside educational program for schoolchildren gets kids outside into nature and inspires them to be the next generation of conservationists. Our volunteer guides use nature as the classroom – and for many children this is their first experience ever, hiking through a forest and along a river. We ask that volunteers give a day or a week of their time. They are provided on-site training, orientation and materials to be prepared for the students. Volunteers learn the skills needed to guide the children in small groups through activities that explore the woods and river,as well as some of its unique history, all through hands-on learning experiences that weave science and art into a fun day of learning. Free time for volunteers is often spent taking kayak trips on the river, hiking in the forest and enjoying shared community time outdoors. This exceptional program has earned much acclaim since its beginning in 1990 and is thought of by many students and teachers to be the
BEST FIELD TRIP EVER.*
For more info on volunteer and teacher resources, go to our LC Page . We look forward to hearing from you!
Pittsboro Approves Re-Zoning -What’s Next?
Pittsboro approved the re-zoning and master plan for the 7120 acre Chatham Park on June 9 . It was a 4-1 vote with only Commissioner Bett Foley voting disapproval. The Town gave up its best leverage with this vote and must now rely on the “good faith” of Chatham Park Investors. Commissioner Bett Foley and Mayor Terry made valiant efforts – to no avail – to either delay the vote until more improvements were made for conservation protection and decreased density, or to make those changes before the vote proceeded.
Chatham Park did make a few revisions for the final version put to a votte – most importantly to comply with the increased Haw River and stream buffers that US Fish and Wildlife said were mandatory to protect the Cape Fear shiner habitat. These were because of the conditions PBO agreed to a few years ago for the NPDES permit for a wastewater effluent discharge on the Haw River (conditions put on due to public challenges led by HRA to that permit). Foley and Terry were also able to get private parks removed from being counted towards park lands and to make the process more collaborative as development agreements are hammered out.
This is not over. There will be major issues we must stay involved in and raise challenges to as the the development agreements, site plans and environmental permits (including federal and state) are hammered out in the next 2 years and beyond. Our waters and environment need our efforts to protect them as this goes forward Pittsboro Matters!
” The America’s Most Endangered Rivers report is a call to action to save rivers that are at a critical tipping point”, said Peter Raabe of American Rivers. “Pollution is choking the Haw River and without a meaningful cleanup plan that addresses the sources of pollution, the drinking water supplies for one million people will continue to be at risk.”
The Haw River is threatened by polluted runoff– rainwater that picks up pollution as it flows over roads and parking lots – and sewage leaking from outdated and overtaxed wastewater pipes. This pollution, containing excess nitrogen and phosphorous, has caused large algal blooms in Jordan Lake, a major drinking water reservoir, which impacts the health of people and fish. The cleanup plan for the river has been delayed and weakened over the last three years.
Now, instead of addressing the causes of the pollution, some municipalities and developers want to install 36 huge “mixers” into the Jordan Lake Reservoir in an attempt to reduce algae. American Rivers and its partners called on the North Carolina General Assembly to stop the delay and clean up the Haw River by implementing the original 2009 Jordan Lake Reservoir Nutrient Management Strategy, commonly called the ‘Jordan Lake Rules’. Read the Haw River Assembly comments about SolarBees to the US Army Corps.
“The clock started ticking on the state and federal mandate to clean up the pollution in the river and Jordan Lake back in 2002, when it made the federal “Impaired Waters List”, said Elaine Chiosso, the Haw Riverkeeper for Haw River Assembly. “It took seven more years to draft and pass these rules in 2009, and since then the state’s legislature has been delaying and weakening them. Clean water is essential to our lives and communities. It’s time to implement the full rules”
Read more in the “Haw River Factsheet“
To take action, send a letter to your NC legislator asking them to re-instate the Jordan Lake rules now to clean up our waters (find out the contact info at: Who Represents Me) Use this Action Alert and sample letter