Last night, over 500 concerned citizens showed up to the DEQ information session to voice their belief that the polluting ash by Lake Norman should be excavated. In an unexpected, but welcome, change of format DEQ agreed to answer questions from the audience. Dozens of people stepped up to the microphone with questions and comments. Sheila Holman, Assistant Secretary for the Environment, responded for the state. Representatives John Fraley (NC House) and Vickie Sawyer (NC Senate) also spoke.
DEQ put themselves in a tough spot at this meeting. As required by state law Duke submitted closure options to DEQ, these were made public at the end of the last year. DEQ has the discretion to choose how the sites are closed, but thus far has not completed their own analysis. Whenever asked about specifics they could only respond with “we’re looking into it” or “we don’t know yet.”
It’s strange and a little unsettling to see the DEQ present Duke’s proposals to clean up their pollution without analyzing the accuracy or legality of those proposals.
We cannot thank everyone who came out last night enough. If you want to help and haven’t already please email a comment and sign the petition. firstname.lastname@example.org
The Lake Wylie hearing is on January 29th. See you there!