“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 […]
After passage of the Energy Modernization Act in June opened the door to fracking in North Carolina, the state’s Mining and Energy Commission is accepting public comment through Sept. 15 on the draft rules for regulating the controversial practice.
Heavy rains caused landslides last year in Western North Carolina, destroying homes near Town Mountain Road and in the Beaverdam and Grove Park-Sunset Mountain neighborhoods. But in 2008, the region experienced the longest drought period ever recorded in the area.
What can you do to tackle local water issues? The Water Sustainability Initiative of Western North Carolina is hosting a July 31 forum to explore solutions, big and small.
The U.S. Fourth Circuit of Appeals has ruled in favor of 23 local citizens pressing to get CTS Corp. to clean up the contaminated site on Mills Gap Road in south Asheville and compensate affected homeowners.
When Tate MacQueen drove past the former CTS of Asheville plant recently on his way home, a for-sale sign caught his eye. The 8.3-acre parcel on offer was originally part of the nearly 60-acre CTS property — some of which was designated a Superfund site last year.
Lee Ann Smith’s and Tate MacQueen’s methods may differ, but their aim is the same: help their south Buncombe friends, families and neighbors obtain clean air and water. (photo of Gabe Dunsmith and Lee Ann Smith by Bill Rhodes)