For the past year, the Yadkin Riverkeeper has been reporting in the press that he has his own fish tissue test, supposedly done by Pace Analytical, showing PCBs in the Yadkin River. The only thing is, he doesn’t seem to be able to get his story straight. He’s never released to the public the actual lab results.
- An article in the Winston-Salem Journal on November 4, 2011 reported that “the Riverkeeper, along with interns from Duke University and N.C. Central University … tested a catfish caught downstream of Falls Dam, finding it contained more than enough PCBs to prompt a fish-consumption warning from the state. “For Naujoks, the result of the catfish test proves PCBs are migrating through the dam and making their way down the Yadkin. That evidence, he said, should prevent Alcoa from getting a water-quality permit from the state. 'We know they are migrating through the dams and getting into fish downstream, and that's a huge public health risk,’ Naujoks said.”
- In a letter to Alcoa dated November 8, 2011, the Yadkin Riverkeeper’s attorney stated “fish tissue sampling taken from below the Narrows Dam of the Lake strongly suggests that PCBs are moving out of Badin Lake and into other areas of the Yadkin River lake chain. Total PCBs detected in the sample fish taken from below the Narrows Dam was 103 ppb, which is two times higher than the North Carolina standard for fish consumption.”
- In his press release dated November 11, 2011 on the same subject, the Yadkin Riverkeeper stated “fish tested downstream in Falls Reservoir indicates the presence of PCBs specifically discharged by Alcoa Badin Works.”
- In his verbal comments at a public hearing on August 2, 2012: “Yadkin Riverkeeper has already done testing through Pace Labs. We found fish in Badin - - actually Falls Reservoir 103 parts per billion; that was an eight pound catfish.”
- However, the Yadkin Riverkeeper’s newest hired consultant, Dr. Peter de Fur, in a report dated August 20, 2012 stated ”a largemouth bass tissue samples from the area in Badin Lake was submitted to Pace Analytical for PCB analysis (results attached). The total PCB concentration of 79.6 ppb was higher than reported in any other analysis, indicating the need to undertake a more comprehensive investigation.” In their response, DENR commented that the analytical data was not attached.
So – just exactly what is the story on this chameleon-like contaminated fish? Was it caught below the Falls Dam, in Falls Reservoir, or in Badin Lake? Was it a catfish or a bass? Were the PCB levels 103 ppb or 79.6 ppb or something else? Where are the actual results reported by Pace Analytical?
Or is all this merely a figment of Dean Naujoks vivid imagination? Given his pattern of misrepresenting facts, it’s hard to know what to believe.