It is our collective opinions and contention that a Bill should be introduced and passed in the next North Carolina State General Assembly to prevent the Town of Boone from building a water intake project in the New River at the boundaries’ of Watauga and Ashe Counties in Todd, North Carolina.
As it stands now, the Blowing Rock and Boone Waste Water Treatment Plants and the very antiquated and non-functional storm water systems of Boone and Blowing Rock and other permitted effluent discharge points have contributed to, have caused pollution and continue to pollute the Headwaters of the New River and these facts are extremely relevant to this rule change proposal. The withdrawal of up to 4 million gallons per day, along with the introduction into the Town of Boone and Blowing Rock's waste water treatment systems will further create harm to these Headwaters of the New River. These two townships are not able to clear the waste water discharges of pollutants and chemicals as it is, a problem that will only be increased should this project be allowed to be constructed. Thus creating an open cesspool in a class "C+" river and one that is designated as an American Heritage River, a National Scenic Waterway and believed to be the 2nd oldest river on the earth.
Just in the last few days of February 2012, the State of N.C. Division of Water Quality has downgraded these Headwaters to now "Impaired", next to the lowest possible water quality rating. These findings are related to the negative impact on Benthic Macro invertebrates. It is obvious that the causal problems of the pollution to the river are already showing up just downstream of the Boone Waste Water Treatment Plant.
Page 85 of the State of N.C.findings as cited are located at the following link: http://portal.ncdenr.org/c/document_library/get_file?uuid=41297d6f-4ab1-4225-b218-ec507aa2435a&groupId=38364
The New River is a vital natural resource in this area and home to several protected and many declining species of aquatic life. It provides a natural habitat and is home to hundreds of species of animals, plants, fish and birds (native and migratory). It also provides recreational use for thousands and is a place where many more thousands visit for its peace, beauty and tranquility each and every year. This section of the river, especially being the Headwaters of the New River must be protected. We must preserve it for our children and for future generations to come.
This project will not only create an eyesore in the middle of the river, it will disrupt, alter and otherwise possibly destroy the scenic beauty by the construction of concrete and steel in the river, the building of pump systems and in essence create an eyesore in this community. Noise created by this system is yet another concern for those living close to it and recreational users. Potentially it will cause a negative economic impact on the businesses here. It will inhibit access to the river. Most importantly, it will in many opinions create increased pollution and cause irreparable harm to this National treasure.
The Hellbender Salamander and Muscles in the river are declining according to the states own findings as the adult populations remain OK at this juncture, but the researchers are finding considerably less new offspring and young. Many species of fish have already been found to be carrying parasitic worms and male fish have actually turned into female fish due to EE2 type Estrogens which is one of many unregulated pollutants by the EPA that are being and can be legally dumped into the New River by the Town of Boone and Blowing Rock's waste water treatment plants. These are factual scientific findings and materially important in this matter.
It is proven scientifically that Waste Water effluent concentrated for a long enough time will pollute the environment. (Please watch the EPA’s very informative video at the link provided below).
We encourage you to join us in asking that our State Representatives convening for the next General Assembly in May of 2012, introduce and pass a "Save the New River" Bill to prevent this project from moving forward and the Rule # 15A NCAC 02B.0307 - New River Basin from becoming law.
In closing, please do everything within your power by signing this petition and to assist in any possible way to help preserve the New River and to also preserve the current quality of water and scenic beauty of the river in this area.
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