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Lee nuclear plant water permit

PUBLIC HEARING: April 4, 2013
Speak up for the Broad River!

The proposed WS LEE Nuclear Power Plant in Gaffney, SC needs an NPDES wastewater discharge permit to dump chemicals and heated water into the Broad River at 99 Island Reservoir. Folks concerned about the health and social impacts of this plant will attend the hearing to make public comments and request denial of this permit to protect downstream communities. JOIN US!

Restoration Church in Gaffney at 1905 N. Limestone St.
6pm: A presentation by Dept of Health & Environmental Control (DHEC) with questions & answers
7pm: public speaking begins
View the draft permit (PDF)
General information on Clean Water Act permits from Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League

Stay tuned for information on ride sharing from North Carolina communities.

General information about the proposed William States Lee nuclear plant and its impacts on surface water:

  • The plant would draw approximately 47 million gallons of water per day with 75% lost through evaporation.
  • Heated water is returned to the river, which stresses fish and other animals.
  • Discharges will contain arsenic, lead, aluminum, radionuclides, and other toxins
  • People living upstream will be impacted by lower water levels in the Broad River; people downstream could have long-term health impacts

How does the SC DHEC permit fail to protect water and health?

  • It only requires Duke Energy to test once a month for dangerous pollutants like: lead, chlorine, chromium, zinc, diesel fuel components (“oil and grease”)
  • Sets no limit for how much lead Duke can discharge into the Broad River
  • Lax testing requirements for pH (only tested once per month). Higher acidity in the river could harm water quality
  • Gives Duke Energy a “mixing zone” – a sacrifice zone of the river where hot temperatures and toxic substances are allowed. Hot temperatures hurt fish and wildlife in the river.
  • Lets Duke Energy set their own testing schedules and do their own sampling. Duke can even request that some current requirements be waived later.
  • If there’s a big spill or disaster, Duke has to notify downstream water intake plants of emergency situations “as soon as possible” – but there’s no guarantee how soon that would be!

Can’t come to the hearing? Submit written comments by April 19 to or Randy Thompson (notice #13-031-H) SCDHEC/Bureau of Water, 2600 Bull Street, Columbia SC 29201