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Nov. 16, 10:00 – 4:00 PM, Statewide Action to Stop the LNG Facility in Robeson Co.!

Nov. 19, 5:00 PM, Public Hearing on MVP Southgate’s 401 Water Quality Certification, Rockingham Comm. College Advanced Technologies Auditorium 560 County Home Road, Reidsville

Nov. 20, 10-2PM, NC Environmental Justice and Equity Board meeting, agenda TBA, Walnut Creek Wetland Center, Raleigh

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US Geologic Survey Report on 56 Lee and Chatham Wells Released—Methane Levels Very Low

In 2012, the USGS, Duke and NC DENR collaborated on a study of baseline groundwater quality in the areas of Lee and Chatham County where fracking would be most likely to occur.  The tests included  a wide range of metals and other inorganic substances, as well as specific forms (isotopes) of radium and strontium.  The highest levels of methane found were more than 20 times lower than the potentially hazardous level of 10 milligrams per liter, too low a concentration to determine whether it was from a shallow “biogenic” source or had moved upwards from a shale formation.

Results for nitrate, boron, iron, manganese, sulfate, chloride, total dissolved solids, and pH exceeded federal and state drinking water standards in a few samples. Iron and manganese concentrations, considered an “aesthetic” problem rather than a direct health threat by regulators, exceeded the secondary drinking water standard in about 35 percent of the samples. This was a one-time study to help in preparation for well protection and monitoring if fracking should come to these counties. The full study is available here.

CWFNC Urges Residents to Test Their Wells!

Only a tiny fraction of North Carolina’s well users have tested their wells for anything other than “fecal coliform” bacteria,  though there may be natural contaminants such as arsenic present in many areas of our state, or other toxic products from human activity.. Arsenic is one of the many inorganic contaminants that are included in the standard tests that are now done on a newly installed well as part of licensing it with your county’s well program, usually in your County Health Department.   These tests and other specialized tests for gasoline compounds (BTEX), volatile organic compounds, pesticides and more are available through your County well program, too.  We strongly urge well users to test for any contaminants they suspect might have leached into the groundwater near their wells—and do it soon!   The list of County well programs and tests from our July report is linked here. Note that many counties will have to raise their fees for well tests after the State Lab’s budget was slashed this year!

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