We All Have One Thing in Common
Welcome by Harrison Marks, Executive Director
Winter has turned to spring, and your Riverkeepers are spending more time on and along the rivers. Throughout the winter, Riverkeepers continued to document contamination occurring from industrial animal operations, both hog and poultry, scattered across the Neuse and Tar-Pamlico River basins. Additional sampling using new forensic techniques is beginning in collaboration with university labs and researchers that may provide additional proof of the source of nutrient and fecal contamination.
As you will read elsewhere in this newsletter, all three Riverkeepers inspected and documented the leaks at the HF Lee coal ash pond. It is hard to puzzle out the approach that the NC Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has taken relative to the coal ash pond resolution with Duke Energy. DEQ has veered from a large headline-grabbing settlement amount related to one coal ash site, to a sweetheart deal that would have resolved civil penalties for all sites and limited DEQ’s ability to enforce groundwater issues in the future, only to see that settlement overturned by a higher court. Clearly the legal actions from Sound Rivers and other groups, and the grassroots outrage from our members and the general public is essential to satisfactory resolution of this issue.
This column comes on the heels of a very successful 13th Annual Taste of Coastal Carolina held in New Bern each year. This event is organized and carried out by an incredible team of volunteers, and represents one of the most important fundraisers of the year for Sound Rivers. Sound Rivers’ monitoring, investigations, lobbying and other activities would not be possible without the on-going financial support of our members coupled with well attended, sponsored events like the Taste of Coastal Carolina.
Please remember as we enter this political season, one thing we all have in common is the need for clean water. Please ask about and consider your representative’s and challenger’s record and position on protecting our water as you consider your vote. If our political leaders don’t believe how they vote on environmental issues will affect their election, then they will sacrifice our natural resources in favor of polluting industries who don’t want to pay for the damage they do to our water and air.
Once again, on behalf of the Sound Rivers Board of Directors and staff, thank you for your financial support and your dedication to clean water throughout the Neuse and Tar-Pamlico River basins!