Yadkin Riverkeeper up to his old tricks

Just when I was enjoying the lazy days of summer, the Yadkin Riverkeeper has sprung into action again, spewing alarmist rhetoric guaranteed to raise adrenaline levels across our pastoral area.  With his usual flair for the dramatic, he appears to once again be taunting threats to our very survival where none exist.

The case in point relates to announcements of a meeting about, according to his own website, "environmental and public health threats linked to decades of Alcoa’s unpermitted disposal of contaminants in the area."  Since I've never heard hide nor hair about Alcoa doing any unpermitted disposal during the time-frame after permits came into being, reckon he's talking about the time-period before permits existed, when everyone disposed of their trash on their own property.  Wasn't anything else you could do.  By his standards, Native Americans did unpermitted disposal thousands of years ago.

It's curious that he's called this meeting two weeks before the state's public hearing on Alcoa's remedial action plan for Badin Lake.

He's always blamed the PCBs in Badin Lake solely on Alcoa, although state and federal environmental agencies say otherwise.  (see Environmental reports on PCBs in Badin Lake)  In addition, he now seems to be up in arms over the report Dexter Matthews, Director of the state's Division of Waste Management, gave to the URRC on April 4th.  I didn't hear any problems in the report about anything which Alcoa isn't already addressing through the proper environmental agencies.  Assuming no one's planning on trespassing on Alcoa's property and diving right into the middle of one of these disposal sites (which I wouldn't recommend), Director Matthews didn't mention any environmental or public health threats.  Jim Lisk reported the facts on the Inside Stanly blog several months ago.  (see NC Waste Management Report on Contamination Efforts)

I'd rather leave these matters up to the state and federal agencies who have the expertise to handle them.  If anyone else plans to go to this meeting, I'd strongly recommend taking your BS meter along.  After all, this is the same guy who still has a prominent place on his website about Alcoa's "Big Bribe" which existed nowhere outside his own vivid imagination.

Try a strong pot of Chamomile tea, Dean.  It'll do wonders for your blood pressure.

 

Views: 496

Tags: badin, dean naujoks, yadkin riverkeeper

Comment by Whigkid on July 19, 2012 at 12:08am

Now he's sent out emails campaigning (and setting up an online petition) for an extended public comment period of another 90 days.  As usual, this is based on false information, which I'm confident DENR can recognize and will respond to.  His logic is that we need to wait for the rest of the testing for PCBs in the basin and that Alcoa should include a plan for cleaning up the solid waste management sites.  Neither is nor needs to be connected to the sediment capping project.  Alcoa is already working with, and has been, the Division of Waste Management on remediation of the solid waste sites.

It's always "something else" with these guys.  That's why people have taken to calling it playing whack-a-mole.   On a list of falacies, it's called "moving the goal post."

Alcoa and the environmental agencies have been working on this for about a year, maybe longer.  They've held two informal public meetings, in addition to the upcoming formal public hearing.  They are not rushing into anything.  The public comment period began on June 10th and extends until August 24th.  That's plenty of time for anyone to submit comments.

Besides, postponing the project 90 days would actually postpone it for a year.  Alcoa can only do a drawdown of the lake during the winter, and there's a limited window during which the work can be done.  There's no need for a postponement.  Deano has been whining about the PCBs, now he doesn't want them isolated.  Doesn't make sense to me!

Comment by Arielle Chastain on July 19, 2012 at 1:29pm

Oh my!  John D. Young had posted a comment, and it seems to have disappeared while we were having some technical glitches last night.  Let me replace it:

Also see the July 9, 2012 letter from NCDENR at Inside Stanly. DENR accepted Alcoa's certificate of closure at the Badin Works plant.

http://insidestanly.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/alcoa_certificat...

Comment by Don K. Hauté on July 19, 2012 at 3:49pm

Seems like it would be a good idea for anyone submitting comments, or signing petitions, to read the pertinent documentation first.  DENR has posted it online.

Public Notice  http://portal.ncdenr.org/c/document_library/get_file?uuid=e89f8fa7-...

Fact Sheet http://portal.ncdenr.org/c/document_library/get_file?uuid=a072ae92-...

Badin Lake Sediment Remedial Action Plan http://portal.ncdenr.org/c/document_library/get_file?uuid=83b1cc00-...

Draft Administrative Agreement http://portal.ncdenr.org/c/document_library/get_file?uuid=a0e3ac32-...

Comment by Ann on July 19, 2012 at 6:12pm

We need a Riverkeeper who's not a complete CRACKPOT!

Comment by flowerchild on July 19, 2012 at 10:31pm

A-MEN!

Question:  How many contaminated fish have been found in Alcoa's arm of Badin Lake?

Answer:  one

Comment by John D. Young on July 27, 2012 at 6:20pm
I attended this meeting.  Initially, some members at McDonald's Chapel AME Zion Church made it clear that this meeting was not intended to be just a - bash Alcoa meeting.  Several people expressed real concerns about possible environmental contamination at several sites in West Badin.  Concern was expressed about the proper monitoring of older landfills.

I certainly support the need to investigate these possible contaminated sites by Stanly County, NCDENR and Alcoa.  If new contaminated sites are identified in West Badin or anywhere else around Badin they need to be properly cleaned-up.  Alcoa has that responsibility.

However, the meeting strayed from the above specific concerns to many unsubstantiated statements and charges.  Even the Riverkeeper's supposed experts did not have many important and specific details about Alcoa's remediation of PCBs in Badin Lake.  

The new testing, that did not properly go north of Winston-Salem, should show, as indicated in earlier tests, that PCBs are a Yadkin River Basin issue.  Alcoa has already acknowledged their responsibility and has initiated a plan for remediation.  But the new data should find PCB contamination around Duke's Buck Steam Station and from several industrial sites far north of the Badin Works plant.

Alcoa should be held responsible for their older pollution from their Badin Works plant that dates back to 1917; but the many others who currently contaminate the Yadkin River, including those who are responsible for tons of livestock (and human) waste in the river and those responsible for mercury contamination in the river should also be held accountable.  

John Young
Comment by flowerchild on July 27, 2012 at 7:53pm

If anyone has any legitimate concerns about old contamination sites, they need to report them to the Division of Waste Management so that they can be checked out.  Nebulous accusations are irresponsible.

I heard that the County Health Director said there are no more cases of cancer around Badin than anywhere else in the county.

Everyone needs to be patient until the PCB results are relased.  I'm speculating that PCBs in fish were found, or the tests wouldn't take nearly as long.  These tests were above and below Badin Lake, which was tested previously.

It seems to me Alcoa is, and has been for a number of years, being responsible in monitorng and mitigating past contamination.  Before the Yadkin Riverkeeper came along, people used to talk about what comes down the river from Winston-Salem.

Comment by Whigkid on August 2, 2012 at 1:46pm

He showed up at last night's URRC meeting with his usual twisted facts and tried to get a resolution supporting delaying the public comment deadline on the Badin Lake sediment capping project.  The URRC decided to ask DENR if they thought the deadline they set should be delayed.

Why would anyone, especially a riverkeeper, not want a known contaminated sediment area to be capped?  This is what you want companies to do, and Alcoa is doing it voluntarily.  This is acting responsibly.  Deano should be thrilled, not up in arms.

Tonight's public hearing should be interesting.

Comment by Whigkid on August 2, 2012 at 9:46pm

Tonight's public hearing on the Badin Lake sediment capping was fairly uneventful.  The Riverkeeper made his comments asking for more time for public comments.  He did not have a single supporter there.  There were six people who spoke in favor of the capping without delay, one Badin Lake boater who asked for daily updates on the project.  DENR recessed the hearing twice to see if anyone else would show up to comment. 

The Yadkin Riverkeeper said we are all whores!

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