Fracking, DENR and the pits

In an editorial published in the Raleigh News & Observer, Charles Ritter warns that DENR's lack of oversight could have consequences even worse than the coal ash disaster once the frackers get their turn to destroy our environment.

Fracking pits are even more dangerous than coal ash pits because:

  • Fracking fluid is more liquid than coal ash slurry and flows more easily downhill into reservoirs like Jordan Lake and the rivers that feed it.
  • The toxins and carcinogens in fracking fluid will not be disclosed per draft DENR rules, making it more difficult for emergency medical personnel to immediately treat those who are exposed.
  • The number of fracking pits in N.C. near each fracking well could easily be hundreds of times the number of coal ash pits.

Mr. Ritter hits the nail on the head about the problems at DENR under John Skvarla (emphasis ours):

According to DENR’s official website, its mission is “to protect North Carolina’s environment and natural resources.” But instead, DENR has built a track record of weakened regulations, lack of enforcement, cuts in staffing and denial of federal grants that would support our environment, all to be more “business friendly.” DENR should be renamed for its real function: Disasters in the Environment Now and Rising. The agency has become a serious threat to our environment, our health and our safety. As important as it is to clean up the pits, it is even more important to clean up DENR.

And we submit that DENR can't be cleaned up without scrubbing the top. It's way past time for John Skvarla to go.


Fox guarding the henhouse

When the agency charged with protecting the environment becomes a threat to the environment, even Deputy Assistant Guvnor Pat McCrory ought to be able to figure out that something is wrong.

But apparently not, since John Skvarla is still in Pat's employ.

"I will have a priority on building relationships with the minority caucus. I want to put substance behind those campaign speeches." -- Thom Tillis, Nov. 5, 2014

Will Duke's spills become Superfund sites?

Something that's been running through my mind lately. The law creating Superfund sites came about in 1980 and targets environmental sites that require long-term (and expensive) remediation because of the hazards to the local environment they represent.

There are 35 Superfund sites in North Carolina, ranging from industrial sites formerly used for manufacturing, military use, or disposal of wastes and chemicals associated with medical or farm work.

Will some of Duke's sites wind up on this list?

The coal ash spill has become

The coal ash spill has become the best defense against fracking in NC. If DENR and the NCGA cannot protect citizens from a home-grown corporation, that would presumably have a more vested interest in our well- being, they certainly won't be able to protect us from out of state corporations whose only interest is in the money they can extract from the state.

Citizens need to start insisting now that no fracking be allowed, inland or at sea, until ALL the coal ash ponds are removed and cleaned up.