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20130927Catawba_Riverkeeper_Updates_-_Sam Perkins,_RiverkeeperCATAWBA RIVERKEEPER UPDATE Sam Perkins Catawba Riverkeeper sam@catawbariverkeeper.org (704) 651-5974 Charlotte-area Power Plants Coal Ash •SCE&G powerplant on Wateree River (Eastover, SC) •Groundwater contamination (arsenic) •CRF filed suit May 2012 •Settled August 2012, agreeing to: •Completely remove ash in unlined ponds and move away from river •Switch to dry ash handling with lined basins •Ahead of schedule!!! Coal Ash Pond Diagram Interactive Map (Lake Wylie) •http://goo.gl/maps/XUMtI •Pictures, locations, descriptions What Needs to Be Done •Clean up site •‘Leave it as you found it’ •Place material in lined landfill •SCE&G precedent •Continues to operate on Wateree River, but ended wet handling •Document library •http://www.catawbariverkeeper.org/issues/coal-ash-1/documents-related-to-coal-ash-lawsuits/ •Why? •Groundwater contamination •Seeps have proved unpredictable •Potential for failure •Water supply threat •Maximum contamination will peak decades from now •‘Other’ material buried CAFOs •Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations •1 swine, ~15 cow, ~600 poultry houses •Discovering extent of poultry •Poultry have exception from public record; difficult to investigate •Waste piles: nutrient, bacteria and even a metal problem •May be stored uncovered for up to 15 days •Major water users (2,000 gallons/house/day) CAFOs •6 flyovers •15 sites reported to DENR Sludge •Byproduct of wastewater and drinking water treatments •AKA ‘residuals’ or ‘biosolids’ •Spread on fields, and farmers get free nutrients!... •…But too many nutrients… •…and metals, pharmaceuticals… and PCBs? •Extreme odor and ensuing health issues •Up to 1,700% Phosphorous increase in soil over 4 years •Class B: <2,000,000 bacteria/gram •Class A: <1,000 bacteria/gram •Rock Hill ended its spreading program earlier this year Ok, so I wasn’t done with coal ash… •Coal ash, meet sludge •If arsenic prefers oxygenated environments and sorbs (sticks) to particles efficiently, will it show up in the drinking water treatment sludge? •Legal limit of 75 mg/kg arsenic for any sludge sample that is to be spread •Data review in Raleigh •Every drinking water treatment plant that separately tests its sludge A fraction of one year’s reports… Sediment 170 mg/kg Arsenic 84 mg/kg Arsenic Ok, so I wasn’t done with coal ash… Economic Impact •The Value of Good Water •Property tax value/base near waterways •Performing for each lake in basin •Coordinate with Realtors •Emphasize importance of good environmental regulations to local governments •[Assume they still have that authority] •GIS analysis •Properties waterfront, ¼ mile from lake/river, ½ mile from lake/river Economic Impact Iredell County and Lake Norman Economic Impact •Disproportionate representation of tax base to acreage 15% 4% 1% 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% 45% 50% Tax Parcels Acres Lincon County Lakefront 20% 7% 3% 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% 45% 50% Tax Parcels Acres Iredell County Lakefront Water Quantity •Good: Union-Norwood tie-in •Bad: Concern with Lake James being able to be dropped 50 ft •Ugly: Need for MIL/LW notification •Some Riverside residents not notified of flooding in May •Marine Commission and HOA Support •“Watch the weather”?! •At least $10,000s of damage CATAWBA RIVERKEEPER UPDATE Sam Perkins Catawba Riverkeeper sam@catawbariverkeeper.org (704) 651-5974 Contact to get e-updates, links, documents