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Upcoming Events

October 4, 6pm, Roxboro and Mayo Public Hearing on proposed wastewater discharge permits, Person County Government Building: 304 South Morgan Street, Roxboro, NC 27573. Speaker registration starts at 5pm. Details & permits here.

How much hexavalent chromium is in NC public drinking water supplies?

Is your water safe Environmental Working Group has released a new interactive map and report showing all the public water systems that have reported detecting hexavalent chromium at any level. This may leave North Carolinians wondering if they should be concerned about the amounts of hexavalent chromium found in their own local NC water supplies.

Last year, the NC Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) warned well users near coal ash dumps with more than 0.07 parts per billion (ppb) hexavalent chromium not to drink their water. This concentration represents a 1 in 1 million increased lifetime cancer risk. (The Department later rescinded those letters, a decisions that has errupted into a major controversy).

Besides being associated with coal ash, hexavalent chromium can come from other industrial sources; non-toxic forms of chromium can also react with some drinking water disinfectants to create the toxic hexavalent form. Under current–but outdated–federal law, total chromium up to 100 ppb is allowed in drinking water. All of that could be the hexavalent form, leading to an estimated cancer risk of 1 in 700! Thankfully, no NC water supplies are close to that, but some have been found to exceed the DHHS health screening level (and even more are above California’s public health goal of 0.02 ppb, which is even more health-protective).

Out of 143 publicly and privately owned supplies tested from 2013-2015 under EPA’s Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule, 48 (33%) had an average concentration above 0.07 ppb, but mostly far below the high concentrations detected in wells around coal ash sites. The majority of public water systems in NC (66%) averaged below 0.07 ppb. Private company Aqua NC’s Bayleaf Master system in North Raleigh, with a history of water quality violations for other contaminants, had the highest average concentration (0.62 ppb), and some of the highest individual sample results – up to 11 ppb at one well, and 3.1 ppb in the distribution system!

Among NC’s ten most populous cities, only Greensboro’s water supply averaged – barely – above 0.07 ppb during the 2-year period. Officials there recently identified the cause of the 2014 hexavalent chromium spike that led to the higher average – a specific liming agent they had used to treat the water, which has since been discontinued.

As federal standards for hexavalent chromium and many other substances fail to protect public health, often by factors of hundreds or thousands, CWFNC is advocating for health-based notifications to both private well users and public water customers for possibly harmful contaminants, whether there is a standard or not! See how your water supplier’s average compares at bit.ly/Cr6NC.

Thanks to Jennifer Liming for contributing to this article.

Standing up for Safe Energy Jobs and Water Justice

Join Clean Water for NC on September 17th for our Annual Meeting entitled: Standing up for Safe Energy Jobs and Water Justice, being held at the Statesville Civic Center from 1:30 – 5:00 pm. Admission is free for current members and students, and $25 for new members. Please register here.

Location: Statesville Civic Center, 300 S Center St, Statesville, NC 28677 (Media Room)

Program:

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Sue Fife (left) and Lisa Hughes, Person County residents

1:30—Welcome (Andrea Emanuel, Vice Chair, Clean Water for NC Board of Directors & Hope Taylor, Executive Director)

1:40-2:45—Communities Protecting their Health and Water from Coal Ash Contamination

Striving for Coal Ash Justice in the Shadow of the Roxboro Power Plant (Lisa Hughes & Sue Fife, Person County residents)

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Larry Aiken (left) and Roger Hollis, Cleveland County

The forgotten part of Cleveland County’s fight for clean water and energy (Roger Hollis & Larry Aiken, Cleveland County residents)

NC coal ash disposal, and reuse: Parts of the solution? (Xavier Boatright, CWFNC)

The fight to save public “health advisories” for well water in NC (Katie Hicks, CWFNC)

2:45-3:15—Break with refreshments

3:15-5:00 Energy Justice, Climate, and Retooling NC’s Energy Future

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Nancy LaPlaca

What’s Happened with Fracking in NC, and Why the Rush to Build Gas Pipelines? (Hope Taylor, CWFNC)

The Atlantic Coast Gas Pipeline and NC’s Indigenous and African American communities (Ericka Faircloth, CWFNC)

Out of the Frying Pan, into the Fire: Why Turning from Coal to Fracked Gas is a Terrible Idea (Nancy LaPlaca, Senior Energy Analyst, NC WARN & The Climate Times)

Redesigning NC’s Energy Future for Jobs, Water and Economic Justice: What Renewables and Energy Efficiency Can Do (Hope Taylor, CWFNC)

Thanks and farewell (Nydia Morales, Secretary, CWFNC Board of Directors and Katie Hicks, Associate Director)

Peoples Hearing Success, July 28th

The Peoples’ Hearing, held on July 28th drew about 60 enthusiastic residents along the pipeline and folks from outside of the area there to show support. Many had deep concerns about the proposed plans and pathway for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline that will travel through 8 NC counties, mostly low-income and with high minority populations.

>>You can comment to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission about your concerns about the Atlantic Coast Pipeline by August 5th! Click here for talking points and instructions to submit comments.

Speakers addressed issues like: impacts the pipeline would have on land disturbance, ground and surface water, their health and safety, Dominion not being transparent when asked questions by local residents and not giving them reliable information, the economic hardship this pipeline would have on landowners who could experience lower property values, and raised electric rates for Dominion and Duke Energy electric customers in NC.

The comments were recorded and sent to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the entity regulating the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline, and written comments were gathered at the hearing and mailed to FERC.

Check out the “highlights” video of the Peoples’ Hearing here: https://vimeo.com/177434872

ACT Against Coal Ash Response to Passage of House Bill 630

Clean Water for North Carolina stands with our friends and partners who are living with or threatened by toxic coal ash in North Carolina, in deep dismay at the passage of House Bill 630 by lawmakers in June 2016. State leaders created one set of rules, then changed the rules mid-way through to give Duke Energy the advantage. This was a major disservice to the residents and waters of North Carolina. We will continue to stand with our community partners to make sure that those affected do get the clean drinking water promised in this bill, and will also keep fighting for truly safe and just solutions to toxic coal ash.

ACT against coal ash April meeting 2016

The Alliance of Carolinians Together Against Coal Ash


Here is the statement from ACT Against Coal Ash:

Statement on House Bill 630 by communities facing coal ash dangers

Raleigh, and communities across NC—On Thursday, the Alliance of Carolinians Together (ACT) Against Coal Ash, a network of communities living with or threatened by toxic coal ash, expressed outrage at the rushed passage of House Bill 630, which they say is a betrayal of residents across NC. The alliance had sent an open letter to the General Assembly last week about their goals and unifying principles for safe coal ash solutions, and they say this bill fails to address many of their central concerns, while giving Duke Energy everything it wanted.
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