“Right now, the U.S. Forest Service is drafting the next forest management plan for the Nantahala and Pisgah national forests … and, unfortunately, the current draft is inadequate in a few very important ways when it comes to protecting water quality.”
Xpress reached out to several organizations responsible for monitoring the region’s air and water to learn how the environmental situation has changed since Buncombe County issued its COVID-19 state of emergency declaration on March 12, which marked the first local guidance for people to reduce nonessential business and travel.
During their meeting of Tuesday, March 10, Asheville City Council members will consider a $473,000 contract for emergency repairs at the North Fork Water Plant, the largest of the city’s three water treatment plants.
“On Swannanoa River Road from Biltmore Avenue — especially near the Antique Tobacco Barn and on down toward Tunnel Road — the overgrowth over the river is a sorry sight indeed.”
On Sept. 6, 1951, thousands of dead fish floated down the highly polluted French Broad River.
“When pollution gets in our rivers, it can have a bigger impact than you may think.”
Western North Carolina’s wild places and creatures lie at the heart of the region’s appeal, inspiring local artists and attracting visitors from across the globe. Events in 2018 promised to shape the future of those natural resources for years to come.
“To inquire, ‘Is this stream clean?’ is a valid endeavor, and together we can take legitimate steps to answer it.”
“I have to follow the data, and the data shows that, despite great progress, we still have a pollution problem on the French Broad and that it’s not always safe to be out on the water.”
Advocates for clean water in North Carolina often focus on the eastern part of the state, which hosts one of the world’s highest concentration of hogs. But French Broad Riverkeeper Hartwell Carson emphasizes that Western North Carolina and its smaller farms are not immune from the water quality issues related to animal agriculture.
“When it comes to protecting our land, air and water, the people of Asheville need a law that guarantees our rights.”
This week, Xpress looks at the network of agencies and organizations working in Buncombe and Madison counties to improve water quality and position the French Broad as the region’s next great tourist attraction.
In this two-part series, Xpress invites you on a guided a trip down the river as we examine the work of various communities to write the next chapter in the French Broad’s history, beginning with Transylvania and Henderson counties.
“Many years ago,” says Mayor Manheimer, “our city leadership made the bold and wise investment in a watershed and water infrastructure that provided the foundation for the robust water system we have today … This ruling ensures that Asheville can continue to own this great water system and continue to provide safe drinking water for years into the future.”
The 74 homes in Southside Village are not part of the CTS of Asheville Superfund site next door, say several residents of the gated community off Mills Gap Road. In two recent letters, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency backs up that assessment, saying it “does not believe contamination associated with the CTS of Asheville Superfund Site poses unacceptable risk to residents of SSV.”
The Environmental Quality Institute launches an interactive map of water quality readings in Western North Carolina and seeks volunteers for its bi-yearly biological analysis of local streams and rivers.
Standing knee-deep in the Little Tennessee River, Haley Williams wears a broad smile as she and her classmates fill a bucket with temporarily stunned fish. “We’ve been waiting for this all year,” says Williams, sporting hip waders and a camouflage T-shirt. Amid the verdant north Georgia mountains, she and about two dozen other Franklin High […]
Through the organization’s Water Quality Internship Program, six interns are learning how to test water quality in local streams. But that’s only the beginning, as the interns will also work as educators and advocates, raising awareness of environmental concerns in the public housing developments near the streams.
PRESS RELEASE FROM THE NC DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT & NATURAL RESOURCES DENR requires Duke Energy to address coal ash issues RALEIGH – As part of implementing Governor Pat McCrory’s recent executive order on coal ash, state officials are requiring that Duke Energy provide plans for excavating inactive coal ash storage ponds at four of its facilities. Four letters […]