Pigeon River comment period extended

State officials held two public hearings — one on Jan. 26 in Waynesville and the other the day before in Newport, Tenn. — to address whether there’s a need for stricter regulations on the North Carolina Division of Water Quality’s permit for Canton-based Blue Ridge Paper. About 400 people attended the Newport hearing and about 150 attended the one at Tuscola High School in Waynesville. The citizen voices for stricter federal regulation were strong and clear, say representatives of the nonprofit Clean Water for North Carolina. Stricter federal regulation would place tighter standards on the mill’s paper-pulp emissions into the river, improving water quality for people and wildlife downstream of the mill, members of the group argue.

Originally set to expire on Jan. 26, the comment period for the permit has been extended until Thursday, Feb. 25.

According to CWFNC and such groups as the WNC Alliance, it’s essential to river health that more stringent regulations be implemented, and allowing the current permit to stand could stall future cleanup on the river.

To take advantage of this extended comment period, contact Dina.sprinkle@ncdenr.gov or sergei.chernikov@ncdenr.gov.

Additional information on pollution in the Pigeon River includes:

Fact sheet for the current DENR permit

Discharge Map

Clean Water NC summary of mill’s permit history

— Robin Criscuolo

About Webmaster
Mountain Xpress Webmaster Follow me @MXWebTeam

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.