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Articles Posted in North Carolina Environmental Law

The Richmond County Daily reports that families along Fox Road will now get county water two years after their wells were found to be contaminated.  For more click here.

If you have a question about your legal rights in a situation similar to this, call Mike Malone at Hendren & Malone. 

As reported:

Opponents of Alcoa Inc.’s effort to win a new 50-year license to operate four hydroelectric dams along a 38-mile stretch of the Yadkin River blasted the company yesterday for failing to deliver jobs and clean up pollution it created around the dams and its lakes.

About 150 people gathered at the home of Cathy Dunn, a High Rock Lake resident who wants the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to reject Alcoa’s license-renewal bid. Alcoa’s license expired in 2008, and its effort to renew is being strongly opposed by environmental advocates and politicians, ranging from county commissioners to Gov. Bev Perdue.

As reported:

There’s certainly no glowing nuclear waste. Dioxin is doubtful. And as for other varied carcinogens, who knows?

It’s a little bit of this and a little bit of that making up the debris at the old Phoenix landfill site at Tucker Creek.

As reported by the Mountain XXpress:

David Bradley, 61, runs an insulation business out of his home on Chapel Hill Church Road, near the contaminated former CTS of Asheville site. Now, based on a request from CTS, the Environmental Protection Agency has demanded that Bradley give out information on his home as a possible source of contamination or face stiff fines.

“The United States Environmental Protection Agency is currently investigating the release or threatened release of hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants, or hazardous wastes on or about the above-referenced Sites,” a June 25 letter to Bradley and his company reads. “Compliance with the Infornation Request is mandatory. Failure to respond fully and truthfully to the Infornation Request within thirty (30) days of receipt of this letter, or to adequately justify such failure to respond, can result in an enforcement action by EPA.”

UNC’s public television station has complied with a subpoena from the General Assembly and turned over raw video footage from a forthcoming series about Alcoa’s impact on the Yadkin River.  WFAE’s Julie Rose has more:

North Carolina has a “shield law” meant to protect the media from being forced to hand over information about their sources to the government. 

But in this case, UNC-TV spokesman Steve Volstad says the station was in a tight spot because it kind of is the government:

As reported, the Johnston County Health Department has ordered roughly 100 restaurants and commercial kitchens in Smithfield to close until the boil-water order is lifted.

Rick Childrey, director of the Smithfield-Selma Chamber of Commerce, said the closure — which was announced around dinnertime Wednesday — will mean a big loss for restaurants, movie theaters and other businesses in the area that rely on passerby. Folks are less likely to shop at the outlet mall if they can’t eat too, he said.

If you have a question about legal rights relating to this incident, or any environmental matter, call the environmental attorneys at Hendren & Malone.  Attorney Mike Malone has a Ph.D. in environmental engineering from NCState in addition to a law degree and has over 10 years experiecne representing victims of contamination.

U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) board members are slated to vote tonight on a series of 18 urgent recommendations aimed at preventing fires and explosions caused when fuel gas is used to clean or purge gas pipes of debris, air, or other substances, typically during facility construction and maintenance.

The recommendations – directed to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and others, result from extensive CSB investigations into the February 7, 2010, explosion at the Kleen Energy power plant in Middletown that caused six deaths and multiple injuries, and the June 9, 2009, explosion at the ConAgra Foods Slim Jim plant in Garner, North Carolina, that killed four workers and injured 67.

As reported, Smithfield’s water system is contaminated with potentially deadly E. Coli bacteria, according to test results released Wednesday afternoon, prompting town officials to order residents and businesses to boil water before using it.

Town officials used a reverse 9-1-1 system to broadcast an order that could be lifted as early as this afternoon if additional tests show the bacteria are gone.

Smithfield Utilities Director Earl Botkin said the contamination has been isolated to a home in the Longview Drive area of West Smithfield. Other testing sites are coming up clear, he said, but state regulations require the mandatory boil-water order.

BP is now facing civil RICO actions in Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama to hold BP accountable for the false assurances it gave the American people that it could handle a worst-case scenario deepwater oil spill. The suits allege that BP committed mail fraud, wire fraud and potentially other RICO predicate act violations when the company sought permits from the federal government for deepwater offshore drilling, knowing that it did not possess the technical expertise or equipment necessary to respond to an emergency such as the ongoing Deepwater disaster.

Click here for more. 

In an interesting story, the federal government is proposing nearly $3 million in fines against the city of Birmingham, Ala., over an incident that officials say was one of the largest fish kills in the history of the Endangered Species Act.

The proposed penalty stems from a 2008 accident in which a city maintenance crew breached a dam and drained a spring pool containing one of the world’s largest populations of the small, endangered watercress darter. Scientists estimated that 12,000 were killed, more than half the known global population.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says the city initially cooperated with efforts to restore the darter’s habitat but has declined to address other threats posed by city facilities.

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