groundwater contamination

Public meeting on the CTS-Asheville superfund site July 29th

If you can make it, please turn out to support the folks struggling with this man-made catastrophe:

Concerned citizens in south Asheville and the greater Buncombe County area are invited to attend an informational meeting about the contaminated CTS site on Tuesday, July 29th at the T.C. Roberson High School auditorium from 6:00 to 7:30 PM. This meeting, entitled “The Road to Cleanup,” will provide the latest technical information on the contamination at the CTS site, outline steps necessary for immediate cleanup action, and allow a forum for residents to ask questions of technical experts and the EPA. The meeting is hosted by POWER Action Group, an Asheville-based non-profit advocating for a comprehensive cleanup at the contaminated CTS of Asheville Superfund site.

One drawback to the focus of regional news outlets is people in the Triangle are often unaware of what's happening in the mountains, or vice-versa. One of our long-standing goals at BlueNC is to shorten the distance between regions, to bring our readers stories they might miss from their local paper. And this is a big one:

PED virus killing millions of NC piglets

And their disposal is threatening groundwater quality:

“They’re very secretive about how many pigs have died in North Carolina, but we estimate that it’s about two million over the last year or so,” said Rick Dove, a retired Marine Corps lawyer who has taken aerial photos of pig farms for Waterkeeper’s North Carolina affiliate. “They can’t move those pigs off the farm because it will spread disease, so they’re being buried in ground along the coastal waterways where the groundwater level is high.”

The virus does not infect humans. As the corpses decompose, however, they can become hosts for bacteria and other pathogens.

NC's hog farms have long been a source for both air and water quality concerns, and there's been a constant battle between pork industry lobbyists and environmentalists, not to mention the people who live in proximity to these massive operations. And the man NC voters (for some reason) have entrusted with the management of such is once again taking the "do nothing" route to handling the problem:

Legislature may clarify law referenced in CTS-Asheville Supreme Court case

Which should have been fixed a long time ago:

House Republicans pushed a bill through a judiciary committee Thursday to change a law barring any lawsuit brought more than 10 years after any alleged contamination occurred. The proposal, expected to receive floor debate and votes Friday, says the 10-year period shouldn't be interpreted as barring personal-injury cases involving certain groundwater contamination.

The change is in response to Monday's Supreme Court ruling that a group of Asheville homeowners cannot sue a nearby electroplating business they blamed for contaminating their land because the contamination ended in the 1980s — even though they didn't learn of the pollution until 2009. A similar situation exists at Camp Lejeune, the Marine Corps base where the government says exposure to contaminated water ended in 1987.

I'll have more to say on this after the bill is passed and the DAG signs it. Don't want to put the kibosh on it.

Excerpts from Justice Ginsburg's dissent in CTS-Asheville case

Another big reason we need to take back the Legislature:

North Carolina’s law prescribing “periods . . . for the commencement of actions [for personal injury or damage to property],” N. C. Gen. Stat. Ann. §§1–46, 1–52 (Lexis 2013), includes in the same paragraph, §1–52(16), both a discovery rule and an absolute period of repose. Section 1–52(16) states that personal injury and property damage claims:

“shall not accrue until bodily harm to the claimant or physical damage to his property becomes apparent or ought reasonably to have become apparent to the claimant . . . . Provided that no [claim] shall accrue more than 10 years from the last act or omission of the defendant giving rise to the [claim].”

The link above is to the entire decision, not just the dissent. But I can save you the time, since Justice Kennedy repeated his argument ad nauseum. In brief, it's a duel between the words "repose" and "limitation," neither of which are actually in our statute. Continuing:

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