Baxter’s Healthcare Facilities NPDES permit was recently up for renewal giving Catawba Riverkeeper and Lake James Environmental Association (LJEA) the opportunity to push for stricter limits and increased monitoring during the public comment period.

Baxter’s Healthcare discharges into the North Fork of the Catawba River in McDowell County, which is a Class B Trout Stream.

As a part of Catawba Riverkeeper and LJEA comments, the permit had stricter limits placed on temperature, turbidity, pH, and increased monitoring for Total Hardness. Additionally, a potential increase in monitoring of Total Nitrogen (TN) and Total Phosphorus (TP) based on water quality modeling in the Catawba River basin was added.

Although the permit did not include everything Catawba Riverkeeper and LJEA pushed for, including stricter limits on TN and TP, and switching from Fecal Coliform to E. coli monitoring, this is a step in the right direction toward protecting water quality in the Northern Basin and the Lake James Watershed.