The rivers need our help

We are a concerned group of year-three students at Buncombe County Early College. We are working on a project in our Earth/Environmental Science class that has to do with our environment and how it is affected by pollution. We are trying to raise awareness about the critical issue of keeping our rivers clean. We are studying the effects of the Shakespeare Conductive Fibers plant, located in Enka-Candler.

As covered by WLOS last year, there was a massive fish kill in Hominy Creek. Possible reasons for this fish kill [could] link back to the old BASF plant in Enka-Candler. In 2009, hundreds of fish turned up dead in Hominy Creek, downstream from the old BASF plant. Tests performed by Riverlink and the North Carolina [Division] of Water Quality found results of high pH levels and low oxygen levels.

Based upon our research, the Shakespeare Conductive Fibers plant, located on the site of the old BASF plant, is releasing harmful chemicals into the ground and atmosphere. These toxins are used in things like paint, antifreeze, etc.

Being such a small group of students, it is hard to raise awareness in a big city such as Asheville. Raising awareness is the first step we’re taking, and we would like for you to help us in our fight.

— Lauren Kline, Travis Ballard and Cheyenne Searsey

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