Letter: Respond to Thursday meeting

Apr. 19, 2014 @ 11:44 PM

To the editor:

Please join the Roanoke River Basin Association, coal ash experts, and concerned citizens at a town hall meeting on Thursday, April 24, from 6-8 p.m. at the Perry Memorial Library in Henderson to learn about the impacts of coal ash contamination of the Dan River, what’s being done to demand a comprehensive cleanup of the river, and how you can get involved.

We’re in a race against time to keep up to 82,000 tons of coal ash from spreading toxic pollutants into Kerr Lake. Once they spread into the vast waters of Kerr Lake and are dispersed, it will be difficult to capture the majority of them as they move up tributaries during heavy rainfall events and settle hundreds of feet down in the deepest end of the lake.

According to Time-Warner’s News Channel, “State officials confirmed the detection of coal ash in Kerr Lake Thursday. The Division of Water Resources said trace amounts of coal ash have been spotted, increasing the likelihood that the substance found deeper in the lake is also coal ash.”

In order to expedite its cleanup vacuuming operation, Duke Energy must fund a comprehensive Dan River and now Kerr Lake cleanup, including paying for state and federal resources and expertise. Independent oversight, testing and labs, and an unbroken chain of custody are required throughout and must be funded by Duke Energy if justice is to be guaranteed. The Environmental Protection Agency and the state do not constitute independent oversight and have allowed Duke Energy to pervasively contaminate for years. People drawing water from the Roanoke River Basin must believe that the data and those controlling it are reliable.

The cover of Business North Carolina reads: “The Black Plague: how coal’s legacy hurts the environment — and Duke Energy.” Join us so that together, instead, we leave a healthy legacy for our children.

Deborah Ferruccio