This is on the Yadkin Riverkeeper's head - no one else!

Make no mistake about it, responsibility for the continuance of fish dying from low levels of dissolved oxygen in the Yadkin River lies squarely on the shoulders of the Yadkin Riverkeeper organization!

They've tried to blame it on Alcoa.  But Alcoa did not cause it.  The waters which enter the Yadkin Project are low in dissolved oxygen.  It's the natural state of the river.  'Sides, in a moment of abject ignorance, the new Yadkin Riverkeeper stated to the Stanly News and Press  “Large amounts of dissolved oxygen emitted from Alcoa’s dams have been detected in the Yadkin. Dissolved oxygen is detrimental to the survival of fish.”  (Will Scott, January 2015).

They've tried to take credit for stopping it.  But, the terms of the Relicensing Settlement Agreement which Alcoa and other stakeholders signed in May 2007 contained provisions for installing technology in the dams which would improve dissolved oxygen levels.  That was two years before a Yadkin Riverkeeper existed!  The provisions called for improvements to be made in the Narrows Dam in 2008-2010, and in High Rock Dam in 2010 - 2012.  (Improvements in the other two dams will be made if needed.  However, it is anticipated that improvements at High Rock and Narrows will carry through to the remainder of the project.)  Had Alcoa been issued its license in 2008, those improvements would have already been finished, and would have been in operation for at least three years by this time.

What has delayed these improvements being made?  The Yadkin Riverkeeper, which has tied up 401 Certificates in court, and intervened in the state's two-year losing battle to claim ownership of the Yadkin riverbed, delaying Alcoa's new license, and all its benefits to the river and the surrounding area.

The Yadkin Riverkeeper also opposed Alcoa capping previously contaminated sediment in Badin Lake (although now they're trying to take credit for it).

And let's not forget that the Yadkin Riverkeeper opposed the jobs Alcoa tried so hard to bring to Badin.  It still escapes me why that would fall under a riverkeeper's mission.

The Yadkin Riverkeeer claims to be effective "clean water champions."  And yet, over and over again, their actions have harmed clean water in the Yadkin River basin, and the people who live here.

This organization needs to stop spending its time and money trying to 'save face' and face up to what it has done.  The Yadkin River needs and deserves a better voice.

 

Views: 247

Tags: clean water, dissolved oxygen, environment, yadkin riverkeeper

Comment by Ann on November 5, 2015 at 6:43pm

After the last riverkeeper, who was a pathological liar, what I thought was most important in a new riverkeeper was one who was responsible for the information he passed on to his followers - one who was truthful and straightforward - one you could rely on.  We didn't get it!  While the new riverkeeper is probably somewhat of an improvement (it would be hard for anyone not to be), he doesn't at all mind just making stuff up, relaying half truths, twisting facts, putting so much spin on things it'll make you dizzy!

Besides taking credit for things they have actively opposed, I think my favorite statement in his recent email was one saying the reason the Division of Water Quality issued Alcoa's 401 Certificate is because Tom Reeder said that riverbed ownership did not matter in a 401.  Really?  Because Tom Reeder said it?  Not because two, count 'em two, judges, in a separate court case, not under further appeal, told DWQ that?  C'mon Will Scott, do you think we were born yesterday?

The email is notable for mentioning that the YRK is involved in the appeal of their colossal loss of the riverbed ownership litigation, possibly continuing to delay Alcoa's license -- and the improvements to dissolved oxygen which a new license will bring!

But hey - they succeeded in making Alcoa take a couple of years to prove the technology, which is required in what will be binding license terms, works!  Oddly, didn't make Progress take a couple of years to prove their technology works.

Glad I didn't throw my "WRONG RIVERKEEPER" signs away!

Comment by CRY ME A RIVER OF OPPORTUNITIE$ on November 7, 2015 at 4:09pm

A false claim by local extremists is hardly remarkable.  Remember the high dissolved oxygen levels?  The Esther Vajda scandal?  Or the PCB's that swam upstream like salmon?  The 'River of Opportunity' folks truly have no shame.

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