New Hill – For several years, the New Hill Community Association has fought relentlessly against the siting of a regional wastewater plant in their community, where many of the residents wouldn’t even receive services. Rev. James Clanton, pastor of First Baptist Church, recently received the Florenza Moore Grant Community Environmental Justice Award for his leadership in the struggle.
Many considered that, with several municipalities working together as Western Wake Partners to build the plant, the small, mostly African-American New Hill community wouldn’t have a chance to prevent the plant from being built. But their persistence, growing public support and pro bono legal representation by the Southern Coalition for Social Justice have begun to create cracks in the plan: the town of Holly Springs recently withdrew from Western Wake Partners.
Most recently the Southern Coalition filed a legal challenge to the wastewater permit that NC water quality regulators had granted to the proposed plant at the controversial site. Many New Hill residents also recently participated in a public hearing in Apex, questioning the Western Wake Partners’ plan to discharge from the proposed sewage treatment plant into a distressed portion of the Cape Fear River. CWFNC salutes the New Hill Association for its determination, and we join the allies fighting for a better environmental solution that doesn’t impose disproportionate impact on this remarkable community!